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Wisconsin DHS secretary-designee Andrea Palm to join Biden administration

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DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm

(WKOW) -- Wisconsin's top health official is joining the Biden administration, according to Governor Tony Evers.

Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm will be nominated to be Deputy Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Gov. Evers' office confirmed Monday morning.

“Andrea Palm is a public servant through and through—she's been a critical part of our administration and a consummate professional who has done an extraordinary job helping lead our state during an unprecedented public health crisis,” said Gov. Evers. “I know she will continue to serve our country just as she has our state—with empathy, kindness, and tenacity. I wish her our very best as she leaves us to take this new opportunity.”

The governor's office says Palm will leave her post at Wisconsin DHS on January 20, 2021.

Gov. Evers says Karen Timberlake will take over the top spot at Wisconsin DHS. Timberlake was DHS secretary under former Gov. Jim Doyle during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response.

“Karen Timberlake brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in public health, healthcare, and healthcare systems that will be critical as we continue distributing vaccines quickly in our fight against this virus,” said. Gov. Evers “Our response to this pandemic and our vaccine distribution program will continue under the leadership of Karen and given her expertise and familiarity with the Department, I have no doubts she will be able to hit the ground running.”

Timberlake will officially start at the DHS on January 25, 2021.

“This pandemic has meant unprecedented challenges for our state, but I’m looking forward to returning to the Department of Health Services and serving with Gov. Evers and his administration,” said Timberlake. “Our top priorities at the DHS will continue to be advocating to receive Wisconsin’s fair share of vaccines from the federal government, distributing vaccines out across the state, and getting shots in arms as quickly as possible while we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Timberlake was most recently a partner at Michael Best Strategies, LLC, in Wisconsin, advising in areas of public health, healthcare delivery, and healthy community investments as well as business development strategies, according to Gov. Evers' office.

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