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Senate panel advances Stitt’s health commissioner nominee

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
 2021-03-22
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Senate panel voted Monday to endorse the confirmation of Dr. Lance Frye as commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee’s vote on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s nominee sends the pick to the full Senate for a vote.

A member of the Oklahoma National Guard, Frye previously served as residency program director and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences.

“His extensive medical and military experience is a reflection of his longstanding commitment to serving others in times of crisis and uncertainty,” Stitt said in a statement. “He was the right man for the job at the height of the pandemic, and I’m confident his leadership will continue to benefit the health and lives of Oklahomans.”

Stitt’s last pick to lead the health department, Gary Cox, was forced to resign after the same Senate committee refused to take up his nomination last year.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 31 COVID-related deaths on Monday, bringing the statewide death toll to 7,704 since the pandemic began last year. The state also reported 158 confirmed new COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 435,450.

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