South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem announced the retirement of Health Secretary Joan Adam on Monday, following a report that the Department of Health had signed a $136,000 contract with a transgender activist group.
Adam, who was brought on in March, has retired from her position. The governor’s communications director told Dakota News on Saturday night that “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,” Adam said in a press release.
Noem did not mention the connection with the activist organization in the press release.
“Joan has lived a life of service to the Pierre community and to the people of South Dakota,” Noem said in the statement. “She has been able to put families first because she recognizes the importance of her own family. I am grateful for her advice and wish her the best on everything that she does.”
The South Dakota DOH signed a contract with The Transformation Project, whose stated mission is to “support and empower transgender individuals and their families while educating communities in SD and the surrounding region about gender identity and expression.” Following a report from the Daily Signal, the DOH terminated their contract with the group.
“South Dakota does not support this organization’s efforts, and state government should not be participating in them,” Noem said after severing ties with the organization. “We should not be dividing our youth with radical ideologies. We should treat every single individual equally as a human being.”