Sign Up for E-mail Updates

Office Closure logo

Health and Human Services Council

Bylaws | Guiding Principles | Meeting Agendas and Information

The Health and Human Services Council assists the executive commissioner in developing rules and policies for the commission. The nine members of the council are appointed by the governor.

Council Members

Ben Raimer, Galveston

Ben  Raimer

Ben Raimer of Galveston serves as chair of the Health and Human Services Council. He is a board certified pediatrician and senior vice president and professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Raimer is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas and American Medical associations, Texas Pediatric Society, Texas Public Health Association and East Texas Baptist University Board of Trustees. He is also a member and past president of the Galveston County Medical Society and an executive committee member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Raimer is past chairman of the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency Board of Directors, Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council and Health Disparities Task Force. He received a bachelor's degree from East Texas Baptist University and a master's degree in genetics from the University of Texas. He earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Maryann Choi, Georgetown

Maryann Choi

Dr. Maryann Choi of Georgetown serves as vice-chair of the Health and Human Services Commission Council. She is the chief executive officer of AmKoHealthcare, Inc, a global healthcare solutions provider.  She is formerly chief medical officer for Harden Healthcare.  She is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and ABHPM certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  She is a member of the American Geriatric Society, the American Medical Association and the American Medical Directors Association.  She received a bachelor's degree and a medical degree from Han Yang University in Korea.  She also received a Masters in Public Health Texas A&M University School of Rural Public Health and Masters in Computer Science from Hofstra University in New York.

James "Richard" Barajas, Fort Worth

James Barajas

James “Richard” Barajas of Fort Worth is executive vice president and chief credit officer of Southwest Bank. He is a board member of Communities in Schools of Greater Tarrant County and Fort Worth Country Day School, and a past board member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Texas Bankers Association Service Company and Leadership Fort Worth. He is also a past board member and past chairman of the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center and Child Study Center of Fort Worth. Barajas received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University.

Dr. Antonio Falcon, Rio Grande City

Dr. Antonio Falcon

Dr. Antonio Falcon is a family physician in Rio Grande City. He is an active member of the medical staff at Starr County Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg. He is also a clinical assistant professor of Family Medicine at UT Galveston. Dr. Falcon served as a presidential appointee on the United States Mexico Border Health Commission and has served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission and the Texas Medical Foundation Institute of Health Quality Board of Trustees. He was also elected as a member of the Starr County Hospital district board for two terms. Dr. Falcon is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and the Texas Medical Association. He is a graduate of Baylor College of Medicine.


Leon Leach, Houston

Leon Leach

Leon Leach, PhD, is executive vice president and chief business officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  In this role, Leach provides executive leadership for finance, business development, marketing, facilities, human resources, information systems and technology commercialization.  He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of MD Anderson Services Corporation, a non-profit subsidiary facilitating partnerships to further the MD Anderson mission.

Before joining MD Anderson in 1997, Leach spent 25 years in various executive leadership positions at Cornerstone Physicians Corporation, CareAmerica Health Plans Inc., Prudential Insurance Company of America, the Prudential Health Care Plan (PruCare), and Prudential Real Estate Affiliates. 

Leach recently earned a PhD in health management and policy from The UT School of Public Health.  In 2006, Leach served as the Sid Richardson Visiting Fellow at Rice University James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, focusing on health policy and economic incentives that influence the quality and cost of healthcare.

Manson B. Johnson, Houston

Manson B. Johnson

Manson B. Johnson is the pastor of Holman Street Baptist Church. He serves as dean of the Independent Missionary Baptist General Association of Texas and is economic development commissioner of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. Johnson serves as a senior ranking member of the Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas, is a member of the Baptist Ministers Association of Texas and the Union Baptist Association of Texas. Within the local community, Johnson is on the board of the South Central YMCA, a member of the oversight committee for Houston Independent School District and a board member of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. Johnson received a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University.

Teresa Durkin Wilkinson, Midland

Teresa Durkin Wilkinson

Teresa Durkin Wilkinson is a registered nurse and partner at Ben-Mar Partners. She is past chair of the Aging and Disability Services Council and a board member of Midland Memorial Hospital, First National Bank of Midland and the First Bancshares of Texas Inc. She is also a board member of the Midland College Foundation and Jenna Welsh Wildlife Sanctuary Development Committee, chair of the Midland 2020 Committee and a special events volunteer at the George Bush Childhood Home. Wilkinson received a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University a Master of Business Administration from New York University, and a nursing degree from Midland College.

Thomas Craig Wheat, Dallas

Thomas Wheat

Thomas Craig Wheat of Dallas is owner of a pediatric private-duty nursing company based in Dallas called Pediatric Home Healthcare.  Wheat also owns a Dallas based printing and promotional product company called The Connally Group.  He is a member of Pediatric Home Healthcare Advisory Board and Pediatric Home Healthcare Board of Directors.  Wheat is a life member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and a former volunteer of The American Cancer Society of Dallas, The Myocarditis Foundation, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in Dallas and The Dallas Race for the Cure.  He attended Texas Tech University where he played tennis and received both his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and his master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Sharon Butterworth, El Paso

Sharon Butterworth

Sharon Butterworth is a mental health advocate.  She serves on the boards of The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas, Paso Del Norte Health Foundation, Brain Trust, Southwestern Children’s Home Trust, and J. Edward and Helen M. C. Stern Foundation.  She is the former Chair of Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and former Vice Chair of Texas Department of MHMR.  She is a member of the University of Texas at El Paso Development Board and Pan American Round Table of El Paso.