State medical officer resigns as governor lifts mask mandate; will stay to train successor
(KPAX) State Medical Officer Greg Holzman, who was often the face of the state’s Covid-19 policy and response under former Gov. Steve Bullock, has submitted his resignation.
In a letter dated Thursday, Holzman said he plans to remain at his position until April 16, to help with vaccine efforts and assist with the transition to his replacement.
“I have truly enjoyed my time working within DPHHS,” he wrote to Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Adam Meier. “I believe we have accomplished some exciting projects and I know there are many more to be completed.”
Holzman didn’t give a specific reason for departing, although he did say he plans to continue his career in medicine and public health “from outside state government,” and hopes to be a “strong partner” with DPHHS.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Meier said he appreciates the work Holzman has done for the state at the department.
“He’s done an incredible job as a medical adviser during the COVID-19 pandemic and through an ever-changing environment,” Meier said. “He has worked tirelessly, and I look forward to continuing to work with him over the next few months on the state’s vaccine rollout.”
Holzman’s successor will be chosen through the agency’s normal hiring process, a department spokesman said.
Holzman’s resignation letter came one day before Gov. Greg Gianforte issued a directive lifting a statewide face-mask mandate. The new governor also signed into law a bill this week that protects businesses from lawsuits alleging damages related to Covid-19 infections.
Last year, Holzman appeared often at news conferences next to then-Gov. Bullock, urging people to wear face-masks to stop the spread of the disease.
Holzman could not immediately be reached for comment.