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Senate committee OKs Liz Dudek to continue as AHCA Secretary

She fielded questions from the Low Income Pool to statewide Medicaid Managed Care but it was clear from the get go that members of the Senate Health Policy Committee held  Elizabeth “Liz” Dudek in high regard and her confirmation to lead the state Agency for Health Care Administration would be approved.

Gov. Rick Scott reappointed Dudek on Jan. 29, 2015. She is a rarity in Tallahassee: she was an agency secretary under Gov. Charlie Crist as well as Gov. Scott. While she had reported directly to two different governors her lengthy career has given her opportunity to meet with Govs. Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush also.

Dudek has worked for the agency, and its predecessor agencies, since 1974. She earns $141,000 annually.

She is held in high regard by members of the Florida Legislature as well as representatives from the industries she regulates, from nursing homes to hospitals.

Florida Health Care Association Executive Director Emmett Reed said in a statement that Dudek brings experience to a long term care system “which promises only to grow in complexity as Florida’s Baby Boomers continue to age.” The association represents nursing homes across the state of Florida.

Committee vice chairman Sen. Eleanor Sobel said that Dudek’s career shows that she has a great commitment to public health and while she may not be able to foresee all problems that arise she knows how to “lessen them and solve them in the best possible way.”

The approval is the first step in the process. Dudek still needs to be confirmed by the full Senate.

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