HHS Inspector General Janet Rehnquist has named Lewis Morris, assistant inspector general for legal affairs, to replace her retiring chief counsel, Mac Thornton. Thornton, 55, announced in August he would end his 30-year government career and leave the inspector general's office, where he'd worked since 1983. A former assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief counsel to the inspector general, Morris has served the agency for 17 years and assumes his new post in October. While Thornton has directed legal policy and lobbied Congress, Morris has been the more visible face of the office to the healthcare industry. He speaks frequently before compliance and health lawyers groups and healthcare provider associations, fields questions and interprets the agency's policies to the industry. He sits on the national boards of several healthcare associations and has been an evangelizer for corporate compliance programs. He will oversee a staff of 70 attorneys and support staff. In a statement Rehnquist said Morris "has shown great leadership during his tenure in the office ... and will bring a unique blend of creativity and common sense to our continued enforcement efforts." --Mark Taylor
Morris to replace retiring Thornton
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