HHS Deputy Secretary Alex Azar is resigning from his
position on Feb. 3, the department announced. Azar, 39,
was confirmed for the position by the Senate in July
2005 and is the chief operating officer for the
department, which has a budget of $640 billion and more than
67,000 employees. Azar played a key role in
implementing steps to provide more transparency in the
healthcare system, implementation of the new Medicare
prescription drug benefit and leading Hurricane Katrina
medical and human services response efforts, according
to a news release from the agency.
Prior to joining HHS, Azar was a partner with the
Washington law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding.
Azar in a statement said he was leaving for personal
reasons. A successor to Azar has not been named yet,
said a spokeswoman for the agency. -- By Jennifer Lubell / HITS staff writer
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