Pence names social service chief after sudden exit

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Gov. Mike Pence has picked a new secretary to run the Family and Social Services Administration and created a new position overseeing his proposed alternative to traditional Medicaid.

Pence announced Wednesday that Carmel psychiatrist John Wernert would take over the state's largest agency. He also said that former secretary Michael Gargano would return in a new role as deputy secretary for operations and the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.

Wernert will replace outgoing Secretary Debra Minott, who unexpectedly announced her resignation last week. Neither Pence nor Minott have explained her sudden departure.

The Pence administration is in the middle of pitching the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on its proposal to use the state-run HIP 2.0 to expand Medicaid.

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