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Maureen A. Milligan
President & CEO

Before joining THOT, Maureen served as the Director of the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency and Director of the Health Care Quality and Analytics, Research, Coordination and Support unit at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Maureen successfully led the development and CMS negotiation of the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Waiver and has served in various roles in her 16 years with the Commission. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff at HHSC, Deputy Director in Medicaid CHIP, and the manager of Health Plan Operations responsible for over three billion dollars in Medicaid and CHIP managed care contracts. Her work experience has focused on state and federal health care reform, state health care policy for Medicaid and indigent care, and Medicaid operational and contract management. 

Prior to her time with the Commission, Maureen was on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch, teaching health care administration and economics as well as medical ethics. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics, an M.A. from the Institute for Medical Humanities at UTMB, a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, at The University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Marquette University. 

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Jessica Schleifer, M.P.H.
Director of Advocacy and Operations

Prior to joining THOT, Jessica served as Legislative Director and Senior Policy Advisor for Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. Jessica has also served as Committee Director for the Senate Open Government and Government Organization Committees, and as a Committee Clerk for the Senate Committee on Government Organization. Before her time in the Legislature, Jessica worked as a data coordinator for a non-profit foundation that provided free cardiovascular screenings to student athletes. She also has prior experience in clinical care, clinical research and education.

Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center.


Bill Rago, Ph.D., M.B.A
THOT Consultant

Bill Rago worked in the Chief Deputy Executive Commissioner’s Office in the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Texas’ Medicaid agency, when he retired in 2014. Dr. Rago worked on an extensive range of policy initiatives and projects that crossed divisional lines providing him with a unique perspective and understanding of the complex workings of the very large and complicated state Medicaid agency. This work ranged from the hospital financing to the negotiation of Medicaid waivers including Texas’ 1115 Medicaid waiver where he helped design Texas’ Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) and the Uncompensated Care Payment Program which, taken together, funds Texas providers $30 billion in waiver payments.  

Prior to his 13 years with HHSC, Dr. Rago worked at the Texas Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation (TDMHMR), where he was intimately involved with program, policy and financing of the state’s psychiatric hospitals and the community mental health and mental retardation centers in his position as Special Assistant to the TDMHMR Commissioner. While at TDMHMR, Dr. Rago was Director of Quality Improvement where he introduced the continuous quality improvement management philosophy to the agency while also serving as a reviewer for the Texas Quality Award and for the Greater Austin Quality Award. Bill has published over 50 peer review articles and chapters and given hundreds of presentations. Dr. Rago earned his MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin where he also taught for several years in the College of Education. Bill currently consults in Medicaid and behavioral health.

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Chris Traylor
THOT Consultant

Chris Traylor’s 26 years with the state ended May 2016 when Chris retired from his position as the state’s Health and Human Services Commission Executive Commissioner. Chris previously served in a variety of leadership roles in health and human services including Deputy Executive Commissioner at HHSC, Commissioner of the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), State Medicaid Director, HHSC Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner of Government Relations. In 2004, he helped oversee the consolidation of the 15 health and human services agencies into the current five.

Among other accomplishments in his career, Traylor successfully negotiated a critical 15 month waiver extension for the state to keep waiver projects and funding in place through December 2017.

Traylor is a graduate of Texas Tech University.