PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Joan Adam is retiring.
Monday, Governor Kristi Noem’s office announced Adam’s retirement after more than 20 years with the DOH. Adam previously served as Division Director for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Division Director for Administration and most recently as Secretary of Health.
“My time with the Department of Health has been very rewarding. The dedication of the Department’s employees is impressive and will continue to serve the state well. I am looking forward to focusing on family and personal commitments,” Joan Adam said.
Adam was appointed Secretary of Health in March of 2022 after Kim Malsam-Rysdon left the DOH for a job in the private sector.
The announcement comes days after the South Dakota Freedom Caucus says Gov. Noem terminated a DOH contract with The Transformation Project, an organization that provides support and advocacy for transgender individuals.
In a release sent to KELOLAND News, the Freedom Caucus, comprised of several lawmakers, commended Noem’s decision saying she’s taking steps to “[eradicate] what the Freedom Caucus is calling ‘child abuse.'”
The contract, which can be viewed here, was for the Transformation Project to develop a Community Health Worker (CHW) program with at least one certified CHW, develop infrastructure for the program and create public awareness.
Neither the Transformation Project nor Governor Noem’s office responded to a request for comment.
However, Transformation Project executive director Susan Williams issued a statement Monday on Twitter: “We know many of you are wondering about the events of the last few days. We will share more information as soon as we can. Please be patient as we seek legal advice and examine our options.”
Her statement added, “And please know that despite the non-stop harassing phone calls — including, sadly, death threats to our staff — we will not be bullied into silence or deterred from serving the transgender community.”