As the Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the US and hospitals are overloaded with excessive SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, the president-elect Joe Biden selected Dr. Jill Jim as a member of the COVID-19 Advisory Board, according to the Biden transition team.
Dr. Jim, who is the executive director of the Navajo Department of Health, for the past 18 years has served in nonprofit, state, and federal agencies. She became a Cabinet member in the Navajo Nation in 2019. As per the news release by the Biden transition team, she has dedicated her career to "preventing chronic diseases and addressing health care and health disparities among American Indians/Alaska Natives."
The Navajo Nation has seen some of the highest case numbers in the country, hitting 15,954 positive Coronavirus cases and 8,609 recoveries as of Saturday, November 28. The nation ordered a new three-week lockdown earlier this month as cases started to rise once again. The press release noted that Dr. Jim's leadership has been essential to the Coronavirus response on the Navajo Nation, "as the Navajo Department of Health is authorized to respond to the declared public health emergency".
Proud Moment for Navajo Nation
According to the Navajo Nation, Dr. Jim also has a Doctorate in Public Health, a Master's Degree in Health Care Administration, a second Master's in Public Health from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor's Degree in Health Promotion and Community Health Education from Northern Arizona University.
The President of Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez said in a Facebook post that he is very proud of her accomplishment. The statement also added that Dr. Jim's extensive public health experience and expertise has been a major benefit for the Navajo Nation throughout the pandemic.
"...Now she will serve on a much broader level to help fight this modern-day monster throughout the country. Our Nation's COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions put forth by our public health experts have served as a model for other states and entities across the country," it added.
The COVID-19 Advisory Board of Biden-Harris is chaired by former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy and Yale University dean Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of internal medicine.
The team also named Jane Hopkins, a Washington state nurse and union organizer, who was born in Sierra Leone and immigrated to the US in 2000, and Dr. David Michaels, a former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety, and Health during the Clinton administration, as new members of the advisory board, revealed Biden transition team's news release.