Department of Health

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office on Tuesday said a probe into alleged mismanagement of roughly $30 million from the Oklahoma State Department of Health has expanded to include investigators from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a special session called by Governor Fallin for Monday, December 18th, investigations and more firings at the State Department of Health and Governor Fallin issues an executive order to crack down on sexual harassment in state government.

The trio also discusses the Oklahoma City mayoral race and controversy grows over comments from former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys.

Oklahoma state auditor Gary Jones testified Thursday that whistleblowers warned his office of possible fraud months before the State Department of Health nearly missed payroll due to alleged mishandling of $30 million dollars.

Jones provided a detailed timeline describing early efforts to unravel how funds were mismanaged, who knew and when. He told the house investigative committee that an unnamed health department manager came forward in late July to alert his office of financial mismanagement at the state health department. Within days, four more employees came forward.

After a nearly two hour closed-door meeting on Tuesday, the Oklahoma State Board of Health voted to fire the department’s accountability director. The move comes as investigators and lawmakers probe the alleged mismanagement of $30 million dollars at the state agency.

The nine-member board voted to fire Jay Holland from his post as Director of the Office of Accountability Systems. The position is charged with keeping the board and health commissioner informed of any suspected fraud or abuse.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Oklahoma Health Care Authority cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates 6% to most health care providers and 1% to nursing homes while the Attorney General, State Auditor and even the House of Representatives begin investigations of possible fiscal mismanagement at the Department of Health and lawmakers await an announcement on another special session to deal with the budget shortfall.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the failure by the State House to pass a measure to increase taxes on cigarettes, gas, low-pont beer and oil and gas wells to help fix a $215M shortfall in the budget, the State Health Department says it can't make payroll at the end of the month without a supplemental appropriation from the legislature and a national credit rating agency warns Oklahoma could drop in its credit rating because of a failure to fix the budget.

The National Weather Service is issuing another Heat Advisory for most of Oklahoma on Wednesday as air temperatures will rise to near 100 degrees, with heat index values up to 110.

The State Health Department's Injury Prevention Service is working to raise awareness of the dangers of exposure to this kind of heat.

KOSU's Michael Cross talked with Project Coordinator Avy Redus about what you need to know.

Saturday Event Could Save a Child's Life

Oct 30, 2014

Spending 15 minutes to focus on safety could save a child's life.

KOSU's Crystal Huffman tells us how.

This Saturday the Oklahoma Department of Health is sponsoring a free car seat check.