Capital Clicks

Reynolds fills vacancies on State Board of Health

By: - July 30, 2021 6:04 pm

At a May 5, 2021, press conference, Gov. Kim Reynolds discussed her effort to restrict the participation of transgender children in school sports. (Screenshot via Iowa PBS)

Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed seven new members to the Iowa State Board of Health on Friday, two weeks after the panel cancelled a meeting due to vacancies.

The Iowa State Board of Health is an 11-member advisory group for the Iowa Department of Public Health. The Code of Iowa  states the board must include substance abuse experts, medical professionals and members of the public.

Several members of the board ended their terms at the end of June, leaving just four members on the panel. The board cancelled a July 14 meeting due to the lack of a quorum. IDPH Spokesperson Sarah Ekstrand said there was no agenda set for that meeting.

Soon after, Democrats raised concerns that board seats were left vacant as the delta variant of COVID-19 spread across Iowa and the nation. Reynolds noted in a Wednesday press conference that the board had been meeting throughout the pandemic before cancelling its July meeting.

“We have to be politically balanced, geographically balanced. We have to be gender balanced in doing that,” Reynolds said. “And so there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into that.”

A Friday evening press release listed the names of the seven new appointees. The online membership list for the board has not yet been updated to show the qualifications of any of the new members.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.