Tom Betlach

Tom Betlach

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed the former head of Arizona’s Medicaid program as temporary director of the state’s social-services agency, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Former Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Director Tom Betlach will lead the Department of Economic Security for 75 days while the interim director, Health Services Director Cara Christ, leads the state’s response to the coronavirus, Ducey’s office said.

Betlach stepped down in 2018 after heading AHCCCS for nine years and previously serving as the agency’s deputy for eight years and as state budget director for five years.

Christ remained as head of the Department of Health Services when she was named interim DES director last fall when Director Michael Trailor stepped down.

The DES runs a variety of programs, including unemployment benefits, food assistance and child support services.


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