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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Montana's DPHHS director is stepping down this August

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

State health department director Adam Meier is stepping down. He will leave the state Department of Public Health and Human Services on August 12, citing a family health issue.

Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed Meier to lead the department in 2021. Gianforte 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.

Aaron Bolton is Montana Public Radio's Flathead Valley reporter.