The state's top regulator in charge of nursing home investigations has accepted a job with the health care industry.
Stella French's departure as director of the Office of Health Facility Complaints raises questions about leadership in an office that is trying to right itself after years of failing to meet federal standards for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect.
French, who recently started work at a pharmacy benefit management company called Prime Therapeutics, did not return calls seeking comment.
Darcy Miner, French's boss at the state Health Department, declined an interview request. But in an e-mail, Miner said she is "sorry to see Stella go, and would hire her back in a second if I could!"
In May, Miner acknowledged that the office should have been more aggressive in the past. But she credited French with improving the quality of investigations and making other improvements after taking over the office in 2009.
Miner, director of the Health Department's Compliance Monitoring Division, said she will soon seek a replacement.
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