Press Release

September 9, 2016

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Jennie Melendez - (405) 522-7404 

OHCA Board Names CEO

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) Board offered State Medicaid Director Becky Pasternik-Ikard the Chief Executive Officer position at their Sept. 8 meeting held at the Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany.

The board met in executive session to discuss the vacancy created by the planned Sept. 30 departure of CEO Nico Gomez. The board later voted unanimously to offer the CEO position to Pasternik-Ikard.  

“Becky brings a wealth of experience to this position; she is a master’s level nurse and attorney. She has been with the agency from its infancy 22 years ago and has worked tirelessly for the Oklahomans enrolled in SoonerCare and Insure Oklahoma. Becky has shown a steadfast dedication to our programs which will help her lead the agency toward fulfilling our mission,” said Ed McFall, OHCA board chair.  

As State Medicaid Director and a member of OHCA’s executive leadership team, Pasternik-Ikard provides overall direction for SoonerCare Operations, which includes Behavioral Health, Insure Oklahoma, Member Services, Pharmacy Services, Population Care Management and Provider/Medical Home Services. She is also the lead OHCA collaborator with the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan (OHIP), the Oklahoma State Innovation Model (OSIM) grant, and state agency partners including the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the State Department of Health and the Department of Human Services.    

She is a member of OHCA’s team for the CMS Innovation Center’s multi-payer Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative seeking to transform care in the primary care setting. She is also a member of the National Association of State Health Policy (NASHP) Academy, the CMS Managed Care and Children’s Coverage Technical Advisory Groups, the Public Health Institute of Oklahoma Board, and contributes to multiple state and national health care workgroups.   

Before joining the OHCA, Pasternik-Ikard served as an Assistant Attorney General for Oklahoma in the litigation and administrative law sections. She has a Juris Doctorate, a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She also has a background in burn nursing, as well as injury epidemiology.  

Pasternik-Ikard will assume the duties of CEO on Oct. 4. Gomez is vacating the position after three and a half years to become President and CEO of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers.


Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare, is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA). SoonerCare works to improve the health outcomes of Oklahomans by ensuring medically necessary benefits and services are available to our members. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. Insure Oklahoma assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. OHCA strives to educate and engage our current 811,256 members regarding personal responsibilities for their health services utilization, behaviors, and outcomes in partnership with a state-wide network of 46,407 providers. For more information, visit