AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has named Thomas Suehs of Austin executive commissioner of Health and Human Services effective Sept. 1, 2009, for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2011. The Health and Human Services Commission provides leadership and strategic direction to the health and human services system in Texas, and the executive commissioner oversees the operations of the five health and human services agencies, including more than 50,000 employees and combined annual budgets of $30 billion.
“Whether managing the monumental reorganization of Texas’ health and human services system beginning in 2003, or helping to coordinate the sheltering of special needs evacuees from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, Texas has successfully taken on these enormous challenges thanks to the outstanding leadership of Albert Hawkins as commissioner of Health and Human Services, and I thank him for his years of service to the state,” Gov. Perry said. “As we move forward, I am confident that Tom will continue the trend of outstanding health and human services vision and expertise, and I am proud to welcome him to his new role as commissioner.”
Suehs has served as deputy executive commissioner for financial services at the Health and Human Services Commission since 2003. His responsibilities include providing administrative leadership, oversight and direction for the financial management of all five Health and Human Services agencies. He is past executive director of the Texas Health Care Association, past deputy commissioner of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, past president of the American Society of State Health Care Executives, and former special advisor to the Texas Indigent Health Care Task Force. He is also a past member of the Texas Society of Association Executives and American College of Health Care Administrators. Suehs received a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas.