Lakey Named Commissioner of State Health Services

Friday, December 1, 2006

AUSTIN -Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins today announced the selection of Dr. David L. Lakey as commissioner of the Department of State Health Services.

Dr. Lakey currently is chief of infectious disease and medical director of the Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control at the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler. He has been a faculty member there since 1998.

“I am impressed with Dr. Lakey’s skills, his leadership and his enthusiasm,” Hawkins said. “He has been very successful in his role at the health center and has been instrumental in the state’s efforts to prevent and respond to bioterrorism and other potential disasters. I know he is eager to take the lead in advancing public health throughout the state.”

The appointment was made with the approval of Gov. Rick Perry.

“I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to work with the excellent and dedicated professionals at the Department of State Health Services,” Dr. Lakey said. “In Texas there are many challenges in public health, and working with the governor, the legislature and the department will be very satisfying. This is a great state, and I am proud and humbled by this opportunity to serve.”

In his current role, Dr. Lakey also serves as associate director for infectious disease and biosecurity at the UT Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness. Dr. Lakey chairs a bioterrorism preparedness committee for 34 hospitals in East Texas, and he led development of the Public Health Laboratory of East Texas in 2002. He is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed internships and residencies in internal medicine and pediatric medicine and a fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Lakey assumes his new duties in Austin on Jan. 2. He succeeds Dr. Eduardo Sanchez who left the post in October to become director of the Institute for Health Policy at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston.

Dr. Charles E. Bell, who has been acting commissioner, will return to his post as a deputy executive commissioner at the Health and Human Services Commission.

The Department of State Health Services has more than 11,000 employees statewide and an annual budget of $2.5 billion. The agency is responsible for the state’s public health programs, including immunizations, bioterrorism preparedness and state laboratory services; Kidney Health Care program; Children with Special Health Care Needs; Women, Infants & Children (WIC); mental health services; substance abuse services; and regulatory services for a variety of health care professionals, facilities and consumer health protection.

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.