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Miriam Hittner to be Rhode Island health insurance chief

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate has confirmed the former chief executive of The Miriam Hospital as the state’s health insurance commissioner.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s nomination of Kathleen Hittner was approved on Tuesday. She succeeds Christopher Koller, who left after eight years to become president of a New York health policy foundation.

The office of the health insurance commissioner provides oversight of the health insurance industry. Hittner will review and approve the premiums that insurers charge and work to protect the interests of consumers.

Hittner has been a faculty member at Brown University’s medical school since 1979. She served as chief of anesthesiology at both Roger Williams Medical Center and Miriam. She was president of Miriam’s medical staff from 1998 to 2000 and president and CEO there from 2000 to 2009.

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