RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The head of North Carolina's health agency is picking a registered nurse and three-year department veteran to run the division that manages the state's $13 billion Medicaid program.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said Friday that Sandy Terrell will lead the Division of Medical Assistance. She replaces Medicaid director Carol Steckel, who is leaving her post after eight months to take a job with a Florida-based company that specializes in government-sponsored Medicaid services.

Terrell will be the Medicaid program's acting director after Steckel's last day on Oct. 11. Terrell has worked in the Medicaid division since 2010.

Steckel was seen as a central player in proposals by Wos and Gov. Pat McCrory to shift operations of the government health care program for the poor toward private companies.

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