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UTHealth names vice president for health policy and systems strategy

Jennifer Deegan
Jennifer Deegan

Jennifer Deegan has been named vice president for health policy and systems strategy at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). 

In this new role, Deegan will work collaboratively with UTHealth’s executive leadership to coordinate and provide oversight for the development and implementation of strategies and programs around population health management. This will include public health strategy prevention, education, and outreach, as well as engagement with UTHealth’s primary teaching hospitals and other health system partners. 

“Jennifer’s strong background in health policy development, her deep understanding of UTHealth, and her legislative experience will be true assets as she provides strategic and operational leadership for our major collaborative initiatives,” said Michael R. Blackburn, PhD, the university’s executive vice president and chief academic officer. 

Deegan returns to UTHealth after a two-year appointment as the budget director in the Office of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. From August 2014 to January 2017, as associate vice president for governmental relations at UTHealth, she represented the university’s priorities with federal, state, and local officials. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to return to UTHealth in a new capacity and to work with an impressive team on the critical challenge of improving population health,” Deegan said.

Deegan has worked six sessions with the Texas Legislature. In addition to her service as the budget director, she was the senior Health and Human Services advisor in Straus’ office from February 2009 to August 2014. Prior to joining the Speaker’s Office, she served as committee director for the House Committee on Human Services and as a policy fellow in the office of State Sen. Judith Zaffirini. 

Before her career led her to the Legislature, Deegan collaborated with numerous organizations on public policy research, including the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas, St. David’s Foundation, Texas KIDS COUNT, and the Texas Mental Health Transformation Working Group.

Deegan received a bachelor’s degree in French from The University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in French linguistics from Indiana University Bloomington, and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.

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