Human Services Department announces new leadership

SANTA FE The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the recent appointments of Kathy Slater-Huff and Kyra Ochoa as Deputies Secretaries. The addition of these leaders highlights the department’s commitment to better serve New Mexico’s diverse communities. 

Kathy Slater-Huff, with her rich 17-year public service career with HSD, steps into the role of HSD Deputy Secretary effective immediately. Having served as Acting Deputy Secretary since March 2023, Slater-Huff’s tenure in the department encompasses pivotal roles, including HSD’s leadership roles during the COVID-19 pandemic and Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon relief efforts, as the Marketing and Outreach Manager for the state’s Medicaid program, and as the Bureau Chief of Medicaid’s Communication and Education Bureau. 

“I’m so grateful that Kathy has agreed to step up and lead HSD as Deputy Secretary. Kathy has many years of valuable experience within HSD, she walks the walk of a truly dedicated public servant every day,” said Kari Armijo, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “I look forward to the great work she’ll do for New Mexicans in her new role.” 

“I am humbled and honored to serve HSD in this role,” said Kathy Slater-Huff, deputy secretary for the New Mexico Human Services Department. “In my years with HSD, I’ve had the privilege to work with so many wonderful, thoughtful and caring people who, through collective efforts, have made such meaningful differences in the lives of so many New Mexicans. I look forward to continuing expanding our efforts as we transition into the Health Care Authority.” 

Kyra Ochoa will assume the position of HSD Deputy Secretary effective January 6, 2024. Ochoa’s distinguished career in public service, notably as Director of the Community Health and Safety Department for the City of Santa Fe, reflects her deep commitment to community health. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Kyra Ochoa as Deputy Secretary, I am confident that under her leadership, we will continue taking significant steps toward building a healthier and more equitable New Mexico,” said HSD Secretary Kari Armijo. “Kyra’s unwavering dedication to strengthening safety net programs and her alignment with our core values at HSD make her an invaluable addition to our team.” 

“I am very honored and grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham for this opportunity to serve as a member of a team leading such critical work in our state,” said Kyra Ochoa, newly appointed HSD Deputy Secretary. “I have a passion for health system improvement and believe in a strong safety net for those in need, especially because we are all stronger when every member of our community has the resources needed to thrive — with the creation of the Health Care Authority, we are moving in the right direction to achieving a healthier New Mexico for everyone.” 


We talk, interpret and smile in all languages.  We provide written information to our customers in both English and Spanish and interpretation services are available in 58 languages through our provider, CTS Language Link. For our hearing, and speech impaired customers, we utilize Relay New Mexico, a free 24-hour service that ensures equal communication access via the telephone to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled. 

The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 988,200 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.