Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services

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Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
Great Seal of Oklahoma
Agency overview
Formed 1986
January 10, 2011
Preceding agency
Dissolved February 1, 2003 – January 10, 2011
Employees 15,591 (FY11)
Annual budget $8 billion (FY11)
Child agencies

The Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services is a member of the Oklahoma Governor's Cabinet. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the Oklahoma Senate, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary serves as the chief advisor to the Governor on public health and public assistance.


The position of Secretary of Health and Human Services was established in 1986 by the Executive Branch Reform Act of 1986. The Act directed to the Secretary to oversee all agencies in the State relating to the public health and assistance programs. The position was dissolved on February 1, 2003, by Governor Brad Henry when he split the post into two separate positions: the Oklahoma Secretary of Health concerned with public health protection and the Oklahoma Secretary of Human Services concerned with providing public assistance programs.

The position was re-established by Governor Mary Fallin on January 27, 2011, when she dissolved the separate positions of Health Secretary and Human Services Secretary.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services is the chief public health officer of the State. The Secretary oversees vaccinations, disease prevention, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and emergency health responses. The Secretary also is responsible for regulation of the State health delivery system as well as overseeing the State's Medicaid program. The Secretary has jurisdiction over most public assistance programs offered by the State. Such programs include child care services, senior citizen assistance, child custody services, disability vocational services, and services to the blind and deaf. The Secretary also oversees services to juveniles, both treatment and corrections.

As of fiscal year 2011, the Secretary of Health oversees 15,591 full-time employees and is responsible for an annual budget over $8 billion.

Agencies overseen

The Secretary of Health and Human Services oversees the following State agencies:

Seal Agency Employees Budget (in millions) Function
Department of Health 2368 $373 Protects the health of all Oklahomans by providing essential public health services
Department of Human Services 7300 $2,300 Provides help to individuals and families in need through public assistance programs and managing services for seniors and people with disabilities
Seal of Oklahoma.svg Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services 2192 $311 Provides public health services relating to mental illness and substance abuse.
125px Department of Rehabilitation Services 1079 $136 Provides people with physical, mental and visual disabilities with counseling and job training
Health Care Authority 416 $4,600 Provides health insurance benefits for the state's "SoonerCare" (Oklahoma's Medicaid program) members
Office of Juvenile Affairs 1056 $127 Responsible for planning and coordinating statewide juvenile justice and delinquency prevention services
  • All numbers represented Fiscal Year 2011 levels

List of Secretaries

An incomplete list of Secretaries:

Secretaries of Health and Human Services (1986–2003)

Name Took Office Left Office Governor served under
Ken Lackey 1995 1997 Frank Keating
Jerry Regier 1997 2002
Howard Hendrick 2002 2003

Secretaries of Health and Human Services (2011–present)

Name Took Office Left Office Governor served under
Terry Cline February 1, 2011 Present Mary Fallin


External links