IE11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Profiles in Government: Department of State Health Services

The department is responsible for state-operated health-care services and programs and its IT division has an operating budget of about $41 million.

The entrance to an emergency room in Houston, Texas.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has listed several IT projects in its strategic plan for the coming biennium.

DSHS is responsible for state-operated health-care services and programs, such as hospitals, disease prevention, emergency medical services (EMS), mental health services, health-care professional licensing and birth and death certificates.

Here is more information about the agency, including who leads its IT department, how many staff the department employs and its history.


Budget: Estimated at $1.2 billion overall for the 2024 fiscal year with $40.6 million budgeted for agencywide IT projects and $25 million for IT program support. Its capital budget includes $22 million for information resource technology acquisition, $37.7 million for data center consolidation and $4.4 million for cybersecurity, according to HB 1.

Leadership: Ricardo Blanco is the department’s CIO.

Staff: The agency has 3,372 full-time employees for the 2024 Fiscal Year.

Below are tech-related goals listed in the department’s FY 2023-2027 agency strategic plan:
  • Ensure efficient access to appropriate services
  • Promote and protect the financial and programmatic integrity of HHS
  • Continuously improve business strategies with optimized technology and a culture of data-driven decision-making
The department also aims to develop a wellness evaluation tool, strengthen public access to standardized data through the Texas Health Data website and develop digital communication toolkits for DSHS staff and stakeholders.

Some of the larger DSHS IT projects in the budget bill include $6.4 million to modernize its immunization registry and $4.1 million to enhance the department’s electronic disease surveillance system.
Chandler Treon is an Austin-based staff writer. He has a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in literature and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in technical communication, all from Texas State University.