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Courtney Coppola, Governor Ron DeSantis’ top health policy advisor, resigns


A senior policy advisor in Gov. Ron DeSantis“The government is resigning, the governor’s office said in a statement late Monday.

Courtney Coppola resigns from her post as deputy chief of staff, which she has held since March.

Coppola previously served as chief of staff for the Florida Department of Health under the state’s former General Surgeon Scott Rivkees.

Coppola’s resignation, first reported by Arek Sarkissian by POLITICO Florida, will take effect over the next two weeks.

Coppola “has not yet taken the next step, but is very much looking forward to family time,” said the governor’s office statement.

After the news of Coppola’s departure was reported, many of her former colleagues used social media to praise their work.

“Courtney is a great person who has worked extremely hard to serve two consecutive governors,” said Darrick McGhee, a lobbyist at Johnson and Blanton who worked with Coppola while serving in the Rick Scott administration. “Your passion for service is contagious and commendable. I am more than proud of her. Not because of the titles she has achieved or the positions she holds, but because she has remained the same humble person from the panhandle. “

McGhee continued, “Whatever she does next, I know she will be successful. My hope and my prayer are nothing but blessings. “

Katie Strickland, who was previously deputy communications director will replace Coppola as deputy chief of staff. The governor’s office said the tandem had been working “hand in hand” for the past few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

“Courtney Coppola has worked extremely hard throughout her tenure in public health. From developing a robust regulatory framework for a billion dollar industry to directing the state’s pandemic response, she loyally led the team around the clock to promote and sustain public health nationwide in all facets of public health in Florida, ” it says in the statement from the governor’s office. “Your commitment to keeping Florida at the forefront of public health nationwide has been invaluable and is exemplified by your unconditional service to the Floridians.”

“Katie is sharp and quick to learn,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis, who was spokesperson for Strickland. “She has a heart for the public service and does what is best for people in need.”

DeSantis changed chiefs of staff in October when James Uthmeier took over for Adrian Lukas.

Coppola began her career in the office of Governor Scott’s former General Counsel. She left the country to join the Department of Health in September 2015 when the state first legalized medical marijuana, but only on a limited “compassionate use” basis. In 2018 she was appointed interim director of the OMMU.

In October 2019, Strickland was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Health.

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