new Health Care Authority director
Gov. Kevin Stitt has named Kevin Corbett as the new director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. (NonDoc)

Gov. Kevin Stitt has named Kevin Corbett as the new director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, effective Aug. 15. The new Health Care Authority director will succeed Becky Pasternik-Ikard, who announced her intent to retire on July 30.

“Kevin Corbett’s financial expertise and strong organizational leadership will serve the Health Care Authority and the State of Oklahoma well,” Stitt said in a news release this morning. “Corbett will bring his wealth of experience in accounting and consulting to ensure OHCA’s $6 billion budget is being delivered on target and to effectively partner with other state agencies to improve care for the most vulnerable in our state. I look forward to working with Corbett in order to achieve Top 10 outcomes in Oklahoma.”

A certified public accountant, Corbett recently worked as interim chief financial officer at Lagoon Water Solutions, an Oklahoma City company that provides wastewater disposal services for petroleum midstream companies. Previously, he retired from Ernst & Young in 2017 after a 38-year career.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority administers SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

Stitt makes history with new Health Care Authority director

Stitt’s appointment of Corbett as new Health Care Authority director makes history, as the SoonerCare agency’s board previously hired its executive director. During this year’s legislative session, Stitt and legislative leaders agreed to a package of reforms that gave him hiring and firing power over multiple large agency directors.

Stitt’s secretary of science and innovation, Dr. Kayse Shrum, praised Corbett in the governor’s press release.

“It’s exciting to have Kevin Corbett join the leadership at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority,” Shrum said. “Kevin brings a wealth of business experience and acumen to this position. His results-driven leadership and ability to build teams will transform the OHCA into a high performing agency that is committed to advancing the health status of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations and to making Oklahoma a Top Ten State in health.”

According to Stitt’s release, Corbett graduated from Oklahoma State University with an accounting degree, and he also completed the executive management program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The release detailed Corbett’s board service for various civic organizations, including Sunbeam Family Services, Junior Achievement, United Way and the Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors.

In Pasternik-Ikard’s retirement announcement, she spoke of the OHCA’s “excellence.”

“It has been my honor and privilege to work at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and in public service for the last 30 years,” Pasternik-Ikard said. “This agency’s excellence stems from the employees I have had the pleasure to work with for over 20 years, and I know their exemplary work will continue in the days and years to come as they continue to work to provide health care to Oklahomans, regardless of ability to pay.”

Stitt said he appreciated her work.

“Becky Pasternik-Ikard has been an honorable public servant over the past 25 years. We appreciate her devotion and passion for leading Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, and we look forward to seeing the success she will have in her next chapter,” Stitt said in the same release July 30. “We will be announcing the next director in the coming days to lead this important agency as we work to align state services and move the needle on health outcomes for all Oklahomans.”