Russell Toal, MPH
Superintendent of Insurance
Appointment: January 1, 2020
Term of Office: December 31, 2023
Russell Toal was unanimously selected by the state nominating committee to serve as the Superintendent of Insurance. The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance has 92 employees and an operating budget of approximately $40 million. It serves all aspects of the insurance world in New Mexico and the insured. The OSI also has some notable special operations, such as the Auto Theft Prevention program.
Toal has an impressive 40-year leadership background in Medicaid and public health.
Prior to becoming the Superintendent of Insurance, Toal was appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and served as Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD), a department that serves approximately 1 million New Mexicans and has a budget of more than $7 billion.
As Deputy Cabinet Secretary for HSD, Toal was responsible for all things IT, including the innovative Enterprise HHS 2020 project which is designed to service multiple state agencies at an estimated cost of more than $200 million. He also oversaw the Child Support Enforcement Division and several components of the state Medicaid program, including all institutional reimbursement matters. Toal also served as principal liaison to UNM’s Health Sciences Center and the New Mexico Health Information exchange.
Toal had previously worked for the New Mexico Medical Assistance Division (MAD)) at HSD from 2014-1017. He served as the Medicaid Enterprise Business Manager with lead responsibility for development and administration of the Division’s Medicaid Management Information System Replacement project (MMISR), which is an innovative modular approach to health and human services administration across multiple departments. He also had responsibility for management of the Systems Bureau of the Division. Prior to the MMISR assignment, Mr. Toal was Deputy Director of MAD with responsibility for the Eligibility, Program Policy, Benefits and Systems bureaus. He also had lead liaison responsibilities with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Indian Health Service.
Toal has provided consulting services to major health insurers as the principal of RToal Consulting. In addition, he provided Medicaid and systems expertise to a significant number of clients that specialize in human and health services across the country.
Before relocating to New Mexico in 2014, Toal served as Director of the Georgia Southern University College of Public Health’s Center for Rural Health and Research, which aided safety net providers and district health departments. Toal was a Clinical Associate Professor in Health Policy and Management at the Institute of Public Health of Georgia State University. In addition to teaching and research, his consulting work during his time with the university was with the Chronic Disease Center of the CDC, the American Society for Clinical Oncology and numerous Georgia-based health care organizations.
Toal served as the first President of the Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC), where he was responsible for development of the state’s cancer initiatives and creation of regional cancer cooperatives across the state.
He served as the first Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, which had responsibility for the state Medicaid, PeachCare, State Health Planning and Indigent Care Trust Fund programs, as well as the State Health Benefit Plan, which offered health benefits to all state employees, school personnel and others.
Toal served as the first President and CEO of Georgia1st, a statewide physician and hospital network owned and directed by the network providers that successfully competed for insurance contracts.
He was both a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance (1983-1993). Toal also has rural health work experience with the U.S. Public Health Service and with the Georgia State Senate, where he staffed the Human Resources Committee and many special health-related study committees.
Toal has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Presidential Award from the Georgia Academy of Family Practice, the Leadership Award from the Georgia Hospital Association, the Partnership Award from the Southeast Division of the American Cancer Society, the Society and Medicine Award from the Mercer University School of Medicine, an Honorary Membership Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (the only non-physician to be so recognized), and the HCFA (now CMS) Administrator’s Award. He was a Distinguished Fellow of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies of Georgia State University, a President of the Georgia Public Health Association, and has been inducted into Delta Omega, the national public health honor society. Mr. Toal also served on committees for The Commonwealth Fund, the Milbank Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
He received his Master of Public Health degree in Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is a member of the New Mexico Public Health Association and an alumnus of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. He resides in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Beth.