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Okla. Medicaid Panel Taps Gomez to Head Agency (Jan 10, 2013)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A longtime employee of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has been named as the new chief executive of the agency that oversees the Medicaid program in the state.

The authority's governing board voted unanimously Thursday to appoint 41-year-old Nico Gomez to head the agency that has about 470 employees and an annual operating budget of more than $5 billion. The board approved an annual salary of $152,000, plus additional incentives to be determined later.

Gomez began with the agency as a public information officer in 2000 and currently serves as its deputy chief executive officer.

Board Chairman Ed McFall said Gomez stood out among the 40 applicants because of his experience with the agency and his reputation among state lawmakers.

Gomez will replace longtime CEO Mike Fogarty, who is retiring.

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