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Governor Kevin Stitt Announces Two Additional Cabinet Secretaries

Mar 15, 2019 |

Governor Kevin Stitt announced today his appointment of Dr. Kayse Shrum as the Secretary of Science and Innovation and Jerome Loughridge as Secretary of Health and Mental Health. Both cabinet positions require Senate confirmation.

“Jerome Loughridge and Dr. Kayse Shrum are going to make a dynamic team on the cabinet focusing on government reform and the intersection of science, health and innovation to make Oklahoma Top Ten,” said Stitt. “As Secretary of Health, Jerome will bring his wealth of experience and success in the private sector as well as public policy to help us realign our agencies and make government customer-centered in the delivery of services surrounding health and mental health. Dr. Shrum will bring a strong network and wealth of knowledge around the areas of medicine, science, and the intersection of innovation to propel Oklahoma’s economy forward.”

 President Kayse Shrum is a native Oklahoman. She earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and has completed executive leadership and management training programs at Harvard University and Stanford University. In 2013, Dr. Shrum was named president of OSU-CHS, becoming the youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in the state of Oklahoma. She joined the medical school faculty at OSU Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) in 2002. In 2011, she was named provost of OSU-CHS and dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and served in that capacity until her promotion to president in 2013. President Shrum holds the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Medical Excellence and Service and the Saint Francis Health System Endowed Chair of Pediatrics.

Under her leadership, student enrollment at the OSU Center for Health Sciences has more than doubled as new academic programs have been established to meet the healthcare workforce needs of Oklahoma. She also spearheaded the creation of Oklahoma’s largest and most technologically advanced hospital simulation center. A strong supporter of collaborative partnerships, President Shrum worked with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and his administration to establish the nation’s first tribally affiliated medical school, the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation. President Shrum has also launched award-winning high school recruiting programs like Operation Orange and Blue Coat to White Coat, established the Rural Medical Track curriculum, and expanded the number of residency training programs in Oklahoma by securing support from the Oklahoma Legislature, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust.

“I am excited and honored to join Governor Stitt’s administration at such a transformational time in our state,” said Shrum. “Governor Stitt knows from building his own successful business how technology and innovation can create new companies and new job opportunities for Oklahomans. Innovation is essential to Oklahoma’s long-term economic growth and prosperity. I am looking forward to serving my state and promoting entrepreneurship and business growth through advancements in science and technology.”

Jerome Loughridge is a native of Duncan, Oklahoma, who graduated with his B.A. from Baylor University in 1995. Following a year at Children’s Memorial Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, Loughridge attended Harvard University, where he earned his Master of Public Policy degree in 1998. In 2000, Loughridge became Chief of Staff at Baylor University, serving on the executive council of the Big Twelve institution and helping drive Baylor 2012, the university’s ten-year vision. In 2003, Loughridge was selected to the White House Fellowship, the nation’s preeminent program for leadership and public service. While a Fellow, he served as Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld, traveling to Baghdad to help coordinate the transition of the Green Zone from wartime headquarters to America’s largest foreign embassy. Loughridge began a career in the energy sector in 2006 and has maintained executive leadership positions in the oilfield services segment since. He first served as Chief Operating Officer of Great White Energy Services. In 2009, Loughridge became President of Black Mesa Energy Services, and since 2012, Loughridge has served as President of Great Plains Oilfield Rental.A Spanish speaker, Loughridge maintains an ongoing commitment to mission and humanitarian activity, regularly traveling to Central America and East Africa and, where he has taught in universities and remote villages and has helped coordinate rural healthcare delivery through temporary clinics. Loughridge resides in Oklahoma City with his wife of 23 years, Tricia, and their two sons.

Endorsements for Dr. Kayse Shrum as Secretary of Science and Innovation are as follows:

 “Under Dr. Shrum’s direction, OSU Center for Health Sciences has become a leader in teaching and training the next generation of physicians and research scientists in our state. She is a terrific leader and developer of talent. Based on her success at OSU, she will provide Governor Stitt with new strategies for how science and technology can contribute to growing our state's economy for the benefit of all Oklahomans.” – Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University

“I’ve known Dr. Shrum for over a decade and admired how she has led OSU Center for Health Sciences to become a national leader in medical education and research. As Secretary of Science and Innovation, I am confident Dr. Shrum will build important partnerships between universities, researchers, scientists and industry to promote creativity, discovery and innovation. She will also support our universities as they work towards bringing valuable research dollars into our state. Her appointment is great news for our state’s leading industries, all of which depend on innovations in science and technology to compete in today’s global economy.” – Jay Helm, Regent, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, President and CEO of American Residential Group

 “I am extremely pleased that Dr. Shrum has been selected by Governor Stitt to serve as the new Secretary of Science and Innovation. Her strong research background, understanding of higher education, and proven leadership skills will help accelerate our goals for economic growth and competitiveness through science, technology and innovation.” – Michael Carolina, Executive Director of Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST)

“Dr. Kayse Shrum knows an idea can come from anywhere and anyone. She also knows that some of the most innovative ideas and best agricultural practices are taking place in rural Oklahoma. She will seek to build relationships to make sure rural Oklahoma also enjoys the economic gains from scientific and technological advancements as Secretary of Science and Innovation.” – Dr. Lee R. Denney, State Director for Oklahoma, United State Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Endorsements for Jerome Loughridge as Secretary of Health and Mental Health are as follows:

 “Jerome Loughridge is one of the finest persons I’ve ever worked with. He is smart, knowledgeable, an articulate communicator, savvy, unflappable, and a person of great integrity. His ability to get things done in complex settings is superior. He will be a great Secretary of Health for the State of Oklahoma.” –Dr. Robert Sloan, former president of Baylor University

 “Having worked closely with Jerome in business for five years, I believe he has the leadership experience, organizational intelligence and proven ability to drive results that the people of Oklahoma need in a Secretary of Health. Jerome focuses on what matters, drives accountability and leads people by cultivating talent and helping leaders to flourish. He will be a powerful asset to the Governor as he leads the State toward Top Ten outcomes in health and well-being.”  Jerry Winchester, former CEO of Seventy Seven Energy

 “Jerome and I worked together through an intense year at the White House, and it was there that I observed his powerful combination of intelligence, empathy, talent and commitment. With a driven focus on ‘getting things done,’ I saw how Jerome was able to comprehend complex policy issues, break them down into actionable parts and drive toward results that benefit the public good. His deep devotion to the State of Oklahoma was evident from our first encounter in Washington, but his breadth of interest and experience literally spans the globe. Beyond his ability to comprehend complex challenges and articulate elegant solutions, it is Jerome’s leadership skills that truly distinguish him – skills that have been honed at the highest possible levels. As a physician, business leader and policy-maker, I can’t think of a more dynamic leader to have in the role of Secretary of Health for the State of Oklahoma. – Dr. Michael Suk, Chief Physician Officer for Geisinger System Services & Chair of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute & Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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