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Montana's health department director is stepping down this August

 A Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services building.
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio
A Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services building.

State health department director Adam Meier is stepping down, citing a family health issue.

He will leave the state Department of Public Health and Human Services on Aug. 12.

Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed Meier to lead the department in 2021. Gianforte on Thursday commended Meier for leading the reorganization of the agency as well as the implementation of laws prohibiting vaccine mandates and limiting the authority of public health departments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were rumblings earlier this month that Meier was resigning. When asked by MTPR last week if Meier was leaving his position, health department spokesperson Jon Ebelt wrote in an email, “These are unfounded rumors circulating through the Helena rumor mill.”

Current health department chief of staff Charlie Brereton will take Meier’s position. Brereton has served as a health policy advisor for Gov. Gianforte.

Brereton has a bachelor's degree in political science and has worked and interned for various Republican members of Congress and state governors, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.