DSHS Organizational Chart

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DSHS Organizational Chart

DSHS Description 
Office of the Commissioner

Jennifer A. Shuford, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health


  • Barbara L. Klein, JD, EMPL, Senior Advisor
  • Kirk Cole, Deputy Commissioner
  • Varun Shetty, MD,  Acting Chief State Epidemiologist
  • Imelda Garcia, MPH, Laboratory & Infectious Disease Services, Associate Commissioner
  • David Gruber, Regional & Local Health Operations, Associate Commissioner
  • Timothy Stevenson, DVM, PhD, Consumer Protection, Associate Commissioner
  • Manda Hall, MD, Community Health Improvement, Associate Commissioner
  • Cynthia Hernandez, DSHS General Counsel
  • Nicole Guerrero, HHS Internal Audit, Director
  • Rick Blanco, Information Resources Manager

Senior Advisor

Barbara L Klein, JD, EMPL 

Office of the Deputy Commissioner

Kirk Cole, Deputy Commissioner


  • Ricardo Garcia, Chief of Staff
  • Stephen Pont, MD, MPH, Center for Public Health Policy & Practice Medical Director
  • Donna Sheppard, Chief Financial Officer
  • Roberto Beaty, Program Operations, Associate Commissioner

Chief of Staff

Ricky Garcia, Chief of Staff


  • Rachael Hendrickson, Center for External Relations, Director
  • Mercy Bryant, Center for System Coordination & Innovation, Director

Center for External Relations

Rachael Hendrickson, Director


  • Jordan Hill, Government Affairs, Director
  • Jennifer Van Gilder, Communications, Director
  • Chris Van Deusen, Media Relations, Director

Center for System Coordination and Innovation

Mercy Bryant, PHD, MBA, Director


  • Yesenia Rodriguez, Process Improvement, Director
  • Angelica Martinez, Executive Operations and Support, Director

Center for Public Health Policy & Practice

Stephen Pont, MD, MPH,  Medical Director 


  • Courtney Denzendorf, MPH, Office of Practice & Learning, Director
  • Aelia Khan Akhtar, Office of Public Health Policy, Director
  • Elizabeth Howard, MD, Residency Program, Director

Chief Financial Officer

Donna Sheppard, Chief Financial Officer


  • Christy Havel, Federal Funds, Deputy CFO
  • Leslie Aguilar, Accounting, Director
  • Amanda Hudson, Budget, Director

Program Operations

Roberto Beaty, Associate Commissioner


  • Danyale Bryant, Business Support & Planning, Director
  • Ann Duncan, Fiscal Monitoring, Director
  • Gabe Pina, Program Support Operations, Director
  • Patty Melchior, Contract Management, Director
  • Madhavi Koganti, Public Health Portfolio Project Manager

Chief State Epidemiologist

Varun Shetty, MD, Acting


  • Diana Martinez, PhD, Deputy State Epidemiologist, Director 
  • Chris Aker, Interim, Center for Health Statistics, Director
  • Carrie Bradford, PhD, Data Governance, Director

Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services

Imelda Garcia, MPH, Associate Commissioner


  • Monica Gamez, Deputy Associate Commissioner
  • Grace Kubin, PhD, Laboratory Services Section, Director
  • Paul Grunenwald, DVM, Infectious Disease Prevention Section, Director
  • Josh Hutchison, HIV/STD Section, Director
  • Vacant, Immunization Section Director

Regional & Local Health Operations

Dave Gruber, Associate Commissioner


  • Rachel Samsel, MSSW, Deputy Associate Commissioner
  • Jeff Hoogheem, Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (CHEPR), Director
  • John Lopez, Texas Center for Infectious Disease, Director
  • Karin Hopkins, Office of Border Public Health, Director 
  • Scott Milton, MD, Region 1, Regional Medical Director
  • Aurelia Schmalstieg, MD, Region 2/3, Regional Medical Director
  • Sharon Huff, MD, MS, Region 4/5, Regional Medical Director
  • Carlos Plasencia, MD, MSPH, Region 5/6, Regional Medical Director
  • Sharon Melville, MD, MPH, Region 7, Regional Medical Director
  • Lillian Ringsdorf, MD, MPH, Region 8, Regional Medical Director
  • Rachel Sonne, MD, MPH, Region 9/10, Regional Medical Director
  • Emilie Prot, MD, DO, MPH, Region 11, Regional Medical Director

Consumer Protection

Timothy Stevenson, DVM, PhD, Associate Commissioner


  • Luis Morales, MBA, Deputy Associate Commissioner
  • Chris Drews, Compliance, Director
  • Annabelle Dillard, Environmental Director
  • Kevin Veal, Food and Drug, Director
  • James Dillon, DVM, MPH, Meat Safety Assurance, Director
  • Lisa Bruedigan, RT, RDMS,  Radiation, Director
  • Jorie Klein, MSN, MHA, BSN, RN, EMS/Trauma Systems, Director

Community Health Improvement

Manda Hall, MD, Associate Commissioner


  • Jeremy Triplett, Deputy Associate Commissioner
  • Lori Gabbert-Charney, Maternal & Child Health, Director
  • Tara Das, PhD, Vital Statistics, State Registrar
  • Heidi Bojes, PhD, Environmental Epidemiology & Disease Registries, Director
  • Nimisha Bhakta, Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention, Director