MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades is taking a leave of absence to have hip replacement surgery.

DHS released a statement saying Rhoades' leave began on Wednesday. She hopes to return by the end of July.

Deputy Secretary Kevin Moore will take over the agency in the interim although Rhoades said she will be involved in decision-making as her recovery allows.

Rhoades joked in the statement that she wanted to take a summer vacation but this wasn't how she planned to do it.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed Rhoades as secretary in February after Dennis Smith resigned to take a job with a Washington law firm. Rhoades had served as deputy secretary under Smith since January 2011. She also served in the state Assembly from 1999 through 2010.