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Walker Names Tom Engels Interim DHS Secretary

Deputy Secretary Will Lead Agency Following Death Of Secretary Kitty Rhoades

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Gov. Scott Walker has named Tom Engels the interim secretary of the Department of Health Services following the death of Secretary Kitty Rhoades this past weekend.


Interim DHS Secretary Tom Engels. DHS file photo

Engels has been deputy DHS secretary under Rhoades since February of 2015. For many years before that he was active in the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin as both a lobbyist and vice president of public affairs.

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Rhoades, who was 65, died Saturday in Madison after falling ill last week. More condolences poured in Monday from people who worked with her at DHS and during her dozen years as a state lawmaker from Hudson.

“During my time in the state lLegislature, and working closely with her on the Joint Finance Committee, Kitty helped shape my bipartisanship,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who served in the Assembly with Rhoades.

“Wisconsin was fortunate to have her play a vital role in shaping state government and health policy,” said Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir. “Kitty was a constant model of how to lead with passion, tenacity, and class.”

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