Press Release

February 13, 2018

OHCA Contacts: Jo Stainsby - (405) 522-7474


OHCA names Defender of Health award winners

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) recently named Dr. Garth Splinter and Ed McFall recipients of the 2018 Dr. T.J. Brickner Defender of Health Award.      

Dr. Splinter is retiring from the OHCA having served as the agency’s first CEO, the state Medicaid director, and most recently as Deputy CEO. McFall served on the agency’s board from the creation of the agency through 2017.

In 2005, the OHCA presented the first Brickner Award to its namesake, a founding member of the OHCA Board. The award was created by the agency to recognize some of the best examples of dedication and personal commitment to the low income, uninsured and underinsured residents of Oklahoma. The recognition celebrates the achievements of an individual or individuals, who work tirelessly in the service of other people, either in health care or a related field. OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard presented the awards during OHCA’s February board meeting.    

“These two individuals have been an intricate part of this agency since its creation. They have served with diligence and display a high level of commitment to the agency and the people we serve,” said OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard. “The agency owes them a debt of gratitude, they will be missed.”    

Dr. Splinter and McFall join a handful of people who have been recognized with the Brickner award including Dr. Steven Crawford, Mike Dover, Anne Roberts, former Senator George Miller, former state representatives Dr. Doug Cox and Calvin Anthony.


The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) administers two health programs for the state. The first is SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. SoonerCare works to improve the health of qualified Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are available. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. The second program OHCA operates is Insure Oklahoma, which assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. Currently, there are 827,390 Oklahomans enrolled in OHCA’s programs. The agency contracts with a network of 46,477 providers. For more information, visit or