Acting Commissioner

Acting Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services Sara Gagné-Holmes

Sara Gagné-Holmes was appointed Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services as of June 1, 2024.

As Acting Commissioner, she leads the largest agency in state government, which provides health care and social services to approximately a third of the state’s population, including children, families, older Mainers, and those with disabilities, mental health and substance use disorders.

The Department also promotes public health through its Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, operates two state psychiatric hospitals, runs Maine’s Medicaid program and the state Health Insurance Marketplace, and provides oversight to health care providers through its licensing division.

Gagné-Holmes, a Maine native, previously served as a Deputy Commissioner of the Department beginning in March 2019. Prior to joining the Department, Gagné-Holmes was a senior program associate with the John T. Gorman Foundation where she developed and implemented strategies across the Foundation’s priority areas. She was also the executive director of a statewide, nonprofit civil legal aid and advocacy organization for eight years, representing individuals with low income in the courts, before administrative agencies, and in the legislature. Gagné-Holmes' experience additionally includes serving in Gov. John Baldacci’s administration as the Deputy Legal Counsel and a Senior Policy and Legal Adviser in the Office of Health Policy and Finance, working as private attorney focused on health care law, clerking for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and owning and operating a café in Augusta, Maine.

Gagné-Holmes graduated from Bowdoin College and from the University of Maine School of Law.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the Maine outdoors.