Zalkovsky Named HHSC Medicaid Director

News Release
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Cecile Erwin Young
HHS Executive Commissioner
José Andrés Araiza, 512-424-6951

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young announced today that Emily Zalkovsky will head the state’s Medicaid and CHIP Services division, effective July 1, replacing Stephanie Stephens. As state Medicaid director, Zalkovsky will oversee the division which is the hub for the Texas Medicaid program.

“Emily brings to the position a wealth of experience, having served in numerous leadership roles within the agency. Her knowledge of the Medicaid program and its administration will be a major asset in this role, and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the team,” Young said.

Zalkovsky, who has 18 years of experience in health and human services policy and operations, currently serves as the deputy state Medicaid director. As deputy, she works closely with the state Medicaid director to drive strategic initiatives, represent the division with stakeholders and build the division’s workforce and culture.

Previously, she served in a variety of staff and leadership roles in Medicaid and CHIP Services, including the associate commissioner of policy and quality, director of policy development support, director for program management for Medicaid managed care, and deputy associate commissioner for policy and program.

“I am grateful for the trust Commissioner Young has placed in me and am honored to serve in this new capacity. Millions of Texans rely on Medicaid, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to meet the needs of our clients and our responsibilities as effective stewards of public resources,” Zalkovsky said.

Outside of state government, Zalkovsky worked as a health care consultant and in the nonprofit sector focusing on housing and health policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government and English and a Master of Public Affairs degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Zalkovsky replaces Texas Medicaid Director Stephanie Stephens, who joined HHSC in 2008 and served in numerous capacities for the agency. Stephanie has served as Texas Medicaid Director for three years.

“We are grateful to Stephanie for staying with us through session and providing leadership and stability over a long, impressive career. She recruited outstanding talent and led reforms that will have a lasting positive impact for our agency and the clients we serve,” Young said. “Managing the state’s Medicaid program and its complexities is a major challenge, and Stephanie’s longevity in this position is a testament to her knowledge and skill.”