Biden names Navajo Nation Health Director to COVID-19 Advisory Board

A key leader to the Navajo Nation's response in the COVID-19 pandemic was selected to join President-elect Joe Biden's advisory board to battle the pandemic on a national scale.

The announcement of Dr. Jill Jim's appointment was made on Saturday, Nov. 28. Jane Hopkins and Dr. David Michaels will also join Jim on the advisory board.

Jim is a member of the Navajo Nation and Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Department of Health.

"Her career has focused on preventing chronic diseases and addressing healthcare and health disparities among American Indians/Alaska Natives," the announcement read in part.

She's served as a cabinet member for the Navajo Nation Nez-Lizer Administration.

"Her leadership has been essential to the COVID-19 response on the Navajo Nation, as the Navajo Department of Health is authorized to respond to the declared public health emergency," the announcement read.

Read more about the appointees here.

The Navajo Nation was often referred to as a hot spot during the height of the pandemic. At times, curfews were in place to help slow the spread of the pandemic.

As of Nov. 16, there is a three-week lockdown until Dec. 6.

The Navajo Nation has had more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 8,600 people have recovered and more than 640 people have died.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez released a statement on Jim's appointment, saying, "We are very proud of Dr. Jim and all of our public health experts and frontline warriors who are fighting for us and saving lives every day. I am looking forward to supporting Dr. Jim’s role with the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Advisory Board and I am optimistic that the Biden-Harris transition team will continue to consider more members of the Navajo Nation for cabinet and high-level appointments as they assemble their administration."

Jill Jim, Navajo Nation Dept. of Health Executive Director. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President)