GOVERNOR STITT ANNOUNCES CABINET TRANSITIONS
OKLAHOMA CITY (June 29, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced he has appointed Kevin Corbett as Secretary of Health and Mental Health and Elizabeth Pollard as Secretary of Science and Innovation as former Secretaries Jerome Loughridge and Dr. Kayse Shrum are returning to their full-time careers.
“We are fortunate to have the ability to promote talented people like Secretary Kevin Corbett and Secretary Elizabeth Pollard to ensure a seamless transition,” said Gov. Stitt. “They both have made significant impacts on our state in just a few months, and I am excited to work with them as we continue our momentum toward becoming a Top Ten state.”
Corbett has served as chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the state’s Medicaid agency, since August 2019 and has four decades of strong organizational leadership and financial expertise.
“I appreciate Governor Stitt’s confidence in choosing me to join his cabinet during such an important time for healthcare in Oklahoma,” said Corbett. “I look forward to collaborating with other leaders in the public and private sectors to improve the health of all Oklahomans.”
Pollard has served as Deputy Secretary of Science and Innovation since January, and is executive chair of Applied Silver, a privately held company located in Silicon Valley addressing infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship. She has been an invaluable member of the Governor’s Solution Task Force by leading the State’s COVID-19 testing strategy.
“The past few months have demonstrated there is a tremendous need for innovation, especially in the healthcare and technology fields,” said Pollard. “Where some see challenges, I see opportunities for Oklahoma to be a national leader and carry out Governor Stitt’s vision of being a Top Ten state.”
Loughridge and Shrum became recognizable faces and trusted voices to many Oklahomans as they played key roles in the State’s COVID-19 response, often appearing alongside Gov. Stitt to deliver important information in press conferences or media interviews.
“All 4 million Oklahomans have benefitted from the wisdom, innovation and passion Secretary Loughridge and Secretary Shrum have led with during their service to our state,” said Gov. Stitt. “They have selflessly devoted many hours away from their families and careers and I wish them nothing but the best as they transition to their next chapters.”
Both Loughridge and Shrum served as volunteers in the Stitt Administration and expressed the need to return to their careers.
Loughridge is the president of TMG Service Company, an Oklahoma City-based capital asset management company, and Shrum is the president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
“At the outset of the COVID-19 response, Governor Stitt enumerated a specific set of priorities, among them protect the health and lives of Oklahomans and mitigate the impact to Oklahoma’s economy,” said Loughridge. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have contributed, in some modest measure, to the former. As a small business owner in a challenging economic environment, it is now time for me to return to the workforce and do my part to help the latter.”
“As president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, several urgent matters need my attention including safely preparing for the return of students to our campuses this fall and bolstering our healthcare delivery network to combat COVID-19,” said Shrum. “My resignation does not diminish my support for Governor Stitt and his goals and my admiration for him remains unabated.”
Loughridge and Shrum were involved in the initial recruitment of Corbett and Pollard for their previous positions and recommended them as their successors in Gov. Stitt’s cabinet.
Corbett and Pollard will require Senate confirmation during the next legislative session.