Gene Gessow, the state Medicaid director, has informed Human Services officials that he’ll be resigning soon and moving for family reasons.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe, said the announcement was a surprise to all. “We wish he could stay, but we understand that family comes first.”

The state is in the middle of overhauling Medicaid to save money. That effort won’t be slowed, DeCample said. He said there was a team in place to continue the work.

Talk Business says Marilyn Strickland, chief operating officer, will serve as interim director. Gessow is taking a job in Massachusetts to be closer to family.

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