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U.S. Senate approves Andrea Palm to serve as HHS Deputy Secretary

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- The former top health official in Wisconsin is now second in command at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Andrea Palm was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Her nomination to the position of HHS Deputy Secretary was approved on a 61 to 37 vote. Her confirmation comes more than two weeks after the Senate Finance Committee advanced her nomination.

Wisconsin's Senators were split on the vote. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin voted yes, Republican Senator Ron Johnson voted no.

Palm previously headed Wisconsin's Department of Health Services, overseeing operations during the majority of the coronavirus pandemic. Palm also previously served as the HHS Chief of Staff during the Obama Administration.

Palm was originally trained as a social worker. She says that work has shaped the rest of her career.

"It was the children and families I worked with during this time that made me want to change the system and drew me to public service and public policy," Palm told senators Tuesday.

The leader of the HHS, Secretary Xavier Becerra, was confirmed March 18.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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