New director appointed to Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration
SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced Thursday her appointment of attorney and health professional Jorge E. Galva as executive director of the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (ASES by its Spanish acronym).
The governor’s announcement came after El Nuevo Día newspaper reported that the appointment had been made this week.
According to the newspaper, Galva’s appointment is part of the demands of the federal government for Puerto Rico to continue using federal funds to finance the commonwealth government’s health plan, which is known as Vital.
“With more than 16 years of experience in the health field, we are confident that Mr. Galva will be able to address and restore credibility to the Health Insurance Administration, which offers the Vital Plan to approximately 1.6 million people in Puerto Rico. I appreciate your willingness and commitment to ASES and Puerto Rico,” the governor said in a release.
The appointment comes about as the U.S. government is preparing to approve a conditional $5.7 million two-year allocation for Medicaid funds administered in Puerto Rico through ASES. The allocation provides that contrary to other territories, Puerto Rico will have to match 24% of the allocation. For the past 22 months, the federal government had financed 100% of the health plan. In addition, Puerto Rico will have to meet several requirements to receive the full amount that is expected to be allocated.
Galva has ample experience as a lawyer specializing in the health sector and as a health services administrator. During his practice, he served as a lawyer specializing in health issues, including litigation, consulting on health issues and contractual relationships, regulations and industry laws.
As a health services administrator, Galva has worked since 2004 as executive director in several hospitals in Puerto Rico and has served in health care management in Chile and the United States. Galva has collaborated with the Hospital Association, in the Legislation Committee, since 2010 and is currently a guest lecturer in the University of Puerto Rico’s health services administration master’s program. He earned a master’s degree in health administration and a Juris Doctor.
“I thank the Governor, honorable Wanda Vázquez Garced and the members of the Board of Directors of ASES, especially its president, the Secretary of Health, Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, for the opportunity they have given me to serve the people of Puerto Rico from this position for the health of the most disadvantaged. I will be complying with public policy to guarantee all beneficiaries an optimum health service, as well as to insurers, health service organizations and providers. The role of supervisor will be one of the main issues in my work agenda in a firm and objective way,” Galva said.
The governor recommended Héctor L. Agosto Rivera as executive director of the Ponce Port Authority. Said designation was in agreement with the mayor of Ponce, María E. Meléndez Altieri, and was submitted for the consideration of the Ponce Port Authority board.
“I am confident that the extensive experience and commitment of Mr. Agosto Rivera will contribute significantly to the success of this important entity for the benefit of the public service and the people of Puerto Rico. I appreciate the commitment and availability of all the members of the Board to address this recommendation and continue working for a better Puerto Rico,” the mayor said.
Agosto Rivera served as deputy chief of staff of the U.S. Army Reserve, battalion commander of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, and operations chief of the Port Authority Maritime Bureau, among other positions.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in strategic military operations.