South Dakota Secretary of Health Joan Adam retires

Adam has served in the Department for over twenty years, but resigned just days after a report came to light about a state contract signed with The Transformation Project.
SD Secretary of Health Joan Adam retired shortly after a controversial contract signed on her watch came to light.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:27 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Joan Adam has resigned, according to an email she sent out to department staffers on Monday.

Adam was appointed by Governor Kristi Noem to the position in March, coming into replace former Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon. Prior to serving as Secretary, Adam served as Division Director for Administration, where she oversaw the SD Public Health Laboratory, Correctional Healthcare Services, the Offices of Vital Records and Health Statistics, and Health Information Technology.

Adam’s resignation comes just days after a report by the Daily Signal that the DOH signed a $136,000 contract in June with The Transformation Project. According to their website, The Transformation Project works “to support and empower transgender individuals and their families while educating communities in South Dakota and the surrounding region about gender identity and expression.”

Noem’s office told the media that the contract was signed without her knowledge. On Saturday, Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury told Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory “the Governor and Secretary Joan Adam had a very frank conversation tonight.”

“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,” said Adam in a press release from Noem’s office, later confirming the resignation.