- The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) announced a series of leadership changes on Friday evening.
- Stefan Grow will serve as the agency’s Chief of Staff, Brock Juarez as Assistant Deputy Secretary of Health Care Transparency and Provider Outreach, Kristin Sokolowski as Deputy Chief of Staff of Medicaid and Procurement, and Sketch Piers as Director of External Affairs and Provider Outreach.
- The announcement comes eight days after Jason Weida was confirmed as AHCA’s next Secretary.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) announced a series of changes in leadership positions Friday evening, as confirmed by the organization.
As initially reported by The Florida Standard, the agency’s leadership team beginning Monday will be comprised of Stefan Grow as incoming Chief of Staff, Brock Juarez as the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Health Care Transparency and Provider Outreach, Kristin Sokolowski as the Deputy Chief of Staff of Medicaid and Procurement, and Sketch Piers as the Director of External Affairs and Provider Outreach.
Last March, Juarez was announced as AHCA’s Communications Director, joining the agency following a stint with the Florida Healthy Kids Association as Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives. Meanwhile, according to Grow’s LinkedIn profile, he served as General Counsel to AHCA between 2017 and 2020.
“[I am] excited to be working with these incredible and talented public servants as we work to make health care better for all Floridians,” said AHCA Secretary Jason Weida.
The recent announcement caps a series of administrative changes that began when Weida was confirmed as the new Secretary of AHCA on April 13. He succeeds Simone Marstiller, who had been in the position since 2021 and stepped down before Florida’s lobbying ban took effect. Weida was originally named as interim in January with an expectation that he would be a top contender to secure the permanent role.
During his testimony before the committee, Weida delineated his vision for the agency under his leadership, which encompasses prioritizing the enhancement of healthy birth outcomes for women across the state.
“It’s important because the Florida Medicaid program covers approximately fifty percent of all births in this state,” said Weida. “And so, just by working on those matters in the Medicaid program, you can have a fairly large impact on birth outcomes as a whole.”
Recognizing the growing demand for behavioral health services, Weida also emphasized the necessity of bolstering childhood and teenage mental health programs. He further pointed to the importance of expanding home and community-based services, while also highlighting an agency goal of continued collaboration with First Lady Casey DeSantis on her healthcare and cancer research initiatives.
The governmental agency is also in the midst of a complex process of awarding multi-billion dollar contracts to Medicaid managed-care providers who will serve millions of Florida families in the Medicaid program.
“Every six years the agency reprocures our managed care organizations. This process formally began two days ago – Tuesday on April 11th – when we issued the invitation to negotiate,” said Weida. “That is, frankly, one of the most important things the agency will be working on in the next year or year and a half.”