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Pence Names New Head of Family Services Administration

Gov. Pence named Indiana State Medical Association President John Wernert the new head of the Family and Social Services Administration.

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Photo: J. Stephen Conn

Gov. Pence named John Wernert the new head of the Family and Social Services Administration.

Governor Mike Pence has named Indiana State Medical Association President John Wernert the new head of the Family and Social Services Administration.

Pence is also directing a former FSSA chief to run the state’s proposed healthcare expansion program.

Secretary Debra Minott announced last week she would be stepping down from her post at FSSA after a little more than a year on the job. The decision came as the state seeks federal approval for its healthcare expansion plan known as HIP 2.0.

Pence had promised to act swiftly in appointing a replacement and named Wernert as his choice.

Wernert becomes the first medical doctor to serve as FSSA Secretary. The Carmel native is an IU School of Medicine Professor and medical director for Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis.

Pence is also tapping former FSSA head Michael Gargano to become the Deputy Secretary for Operations, overseeing HIP 2.0. Gargano led the agency under Governor Mitch Daniels and was replaced by Minott when Pence took office.

Minott will officially step down in early July.

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