Elena Nicolella

Rhode Island

Associate Director (2009-2014)


As associate director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services from 2009 to 2014, Elena Nicolella oversaw the state’s Medicaid program. Previously she worked as a consultant to the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (then called Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals) from 2006-2009. 

Ms. Nicolella worked for the federal government for 15 years, first with the Food and Nutrition Services agency within the US Department of Agriculture from 1991-1997 and then the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 1997-2006.

She received her master’s in public health from Boston University.

Leadership Project

Create active cross-system collaboration among Medicaid, the state mental health and substance abuse agency and the Department of Corrections to use patient centered medical homes to support members re-entering the community from the Department of Corrections.