This week, the Senate Finance Committee will consider President Biden’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Andrea Palm. Palm has the experience and qualifications needed to be an outstanding Deputy Secretary of HHS. Her leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic has led Wisconsin to one of the best vaccination rates in the country, saving countless lives. Palm has support from a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Wisconsin Hospital Association and large private sector health care employers in the state.
- Palm served as Secretary-Designee for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services from 2019 to 2021 and led the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Palm served in a variety of senior roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including as Senior Counselor to the Secretary (2014-2017), Chief of Staff (2013-2014), Counselor to the Secretary for Science and Public Health (2011-2013), and as Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislation (2009-2010)
- Palm holds an undergraduate degree in human services studies from Cornell University and attended graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis.
Leadership In Wisconsin
- Palm led Wisconsin to one of the best vaccination rates in the country, reducing disparities in access and saving countless lives.
- Five large employers in Wisconsin, including the health software company Epic, are backing Palm’s confirmation, saying that she partnered effectively with the private sector and “led with facts, strength, and transparency.”
- In a letter of support Children’s Wisconsin said Palm’s tenure in Wisconsin was “characterized by strong collaboration, partnership and communication.” The hospital called her handling of the Covid-19 “skillful,” “effective,” and “nimble” and cited her “unwavering commitment to advancing the health of Wisconsin residents and strong management skills” as major assets for the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called Andrea Palm “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 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.”
Experts And Stakeholders Know That Andrea Palm Is A Superb Choice For HHS Deputy Secretary
- Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius relied on Andrea Palm as her chief of staff. Sebelius has said that Palm “knows every piece of the department”
- Former HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr said Palm’s experience with Wisconsin’s GOP-led legislature shows she can navigate Washington’s policy fights. “The fact that she’s had so much opposition, and she’s still managed to organize and deliver so much in Wisconsin says legions about her leadership ability and addressing the public’s needs, and not getting caught in the political games,” Corr said.
- The Wisconsin Hospital Association supports Palm’s nomination, citing her work fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and reforming Wisconsin’s Medicaid telehealth laws. In a supportive letter the WHA wrote “Andrea’s health care policy expertise, combined with her ability to build a strong team, create partnerships and collaborations and manage multiple complex and challenging tasks simultaneously make her well-suited for her new role as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
- The American Hospital Association is also backing Palm’s nomination because she has “spent her entire career improving our health care system and ensuring Americans have access to health care.” According to the AHA, “The state of Wisconsin faced many challenges during the pandemic; however, under Ms. Palm’s leadership, the state was able to meet the health care needs of the state’s urban, suburban and rural communities.”
- The CEO of Wisconsin’s Advocate Aurora Health called Palm “a reliable and thoughtful partner when it came to helping our frontline providers obtain critical supplies of vaccines, test kits and other important tools to help fight the pandemic” and expressed confidence that she will be “a highly effective leader at HHS and will support the Department’s critical mission.”