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Harris Health Board Elects New Officers for 2024

 Content Editor

HOUSTON (Dec. 11, 2023) — Harris Health Board of Trustees, the governing body for the state's largest public healthcare system, in a unanimous vote elected new officers for 2024—Andrea Caracostis, MD, chair; Cody M. Pyke, MD, JD, vice chair; and Carol Paret, secretary.

The board's nine members are appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court to serve terms of two years and offer direction, financial stewardship and oversight for Harris Health's leadership.

Caracostis was appointed to the board in March 2020. She has dedicated her life working to provide equal access to care for all. She is a medical doctor with a master's degree in Public Health from Texas A&M University, and has 25 years of experience in healthcare.

Since 2007 she has served as the CEO of HOPE Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center providing care to the large multicultural community in Southwest Houston. Caracostis also serves as a board member at various local and national healthcare organizations, including Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Asian American and Pacific Islanders Community Health Center Organization and Susan G. Komen Medical board. She has been voted as a top 20 CEO in Houston in 2019.

Pyke is one of the newest members appointed to the board in July 2023. She is a Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine, a former executive member of the Board of Directors for the National Perinatal Association and an active author, lecturer and speaker on health law and policy issues affecting people both in Texas and across the United States. She is a non-binary transgender woman, and the first openly transgender person and first non-binary person to serve on Harris Health's board.

As a practicing attorney, she zealously represents her clients in a variety of civil litigation cases, and as a member of the Houston community, she brings that same zeal in advocating for health equity and intersectional justice in healthcare. Pyke completed her undergraduate at Trinity University, medical doctorate at Baylor College of Medicine, juris doctorate and master of laws degree in Health Law at University of Houston Law Center, and a master's in Bioethics Policy at Clarkson University.

Paret was appointed to the board in November 2022. She began her career in community health planning and worked at Memorial Hermann Health System for more than 40 years, most recently as the senior vice president and chief community health officer and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation. Paret completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Houston with graduate studies at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.

Paret has served on several community boards over her career, and currently serves on the board of El Centro de Corazon, is a past-chair and current board member of the Texas Health Institute and chairs the Board of Greater Houston Health Connect.

"I would like to thank our board members for their support of our historic bond proposal that was overwhelmingly approved by Harris County voters," says Esmaeil Porsa, MD, president and CEO, Harris Health. “I also am extremely excited and proud to work with the new slate of board officers whose leadership will be invaluable in bringing our strategic facilities plan to reality."

Other members of the Harris Health Board of Trustees include: Afsheen Davis, JD, MPH; Marcia Johnson, JD; Sima Ladjevardian, JD; Barbie L. Robinson, MPP, JD, CHC; Jim Robinson, MA, CFE; and Jennifer Tijerina, MS.