in Houston, Texas
A doctor who served in the Texas legislature taking over the state Health and Human Services Commission
Monday, Jul 30, 2012, 03:07PM CST
By Mark Lisheron

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Kyle Janek, a doctor and former Texas legislator, executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, replacing retiring commissioner Tom Suehs.

Suehs, who launched health care reforms passed by the Legislature in its 2011 session announced in June he would step down effective Aug. 31. His annual salary was $210,000 through 2011.


Perry also named Chris Traylor, commissioner of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to serve as Janek’s chief deputy commissioner, according to a press release issued a few minutes ago.


Janek, who starts Sept. 1, is the director of anesthesia services at Lakeway Regional Medical Center. He served as a Republican senator from 2002 to 2008 and representative in the House from 1995 to 2002.


Traylor was part of a management team that in 2004 consolidated 15 state health and human services agencies into the current five that comprise the Department of Health and Human Services.

The department employs more than 55,000 people, with a combined budget of more than $30 billion a year.

“Texas, like the rest of the country, is headed into a period of the most significant changes in health care in our history,” Perry said in the release. “This new leadership team, with Kyle and Chris at the helm, combines unparalleled experience and expertise to ensure Texans continue to have access to the health care they need while implementing fiscal policies that are mindful that it’s taxpayer money they are spending.”

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo a doctor from the US HHS.

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