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    Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve health and well-being in Texas
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    Texas 211

Kirk Cole, Interim Commissioner, DSHS


Kirk Cole

Kirk Cole
Interim Commissioner

Kirk Cole, associate commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, is serving as interim commissioner of the agency following the departure of Dr. David Lakey, who announced his resignation in early January.

Cole has been with the agency for 10 years in various leadership roles, primarily focused on consumer and governmental relations and public health policy. As associate commissioner, he was second in command and played a key role in advising the commissioner and state leadership on public health and agency management issues. He worked to make sure that agency programs were responsive to the needs of the people of Texas and in line with the goals and priorities of the state.

Before coming to DSHS in 2004, Cole worked for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in communications and government relations and for Texas A&M University as an assistant administrator for student health services.

Cole received a bachelor’s degree in health and a master’s degree in urban planning from Texas A&M University.

The Department of State Health Services is one of the state’s largest agencies with a staff of 12,000 and an annual budget of $3.2 billion. The agency oversees programs such as disease prevention and bioterrorism preparedness, family and community health services, environmental and consumer safety, regulatory programs and mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.

(Biography – printable pdf)

Last updated February 02, 2015