First Lady Casey DeSantis has stepped down as chairwoman of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, four days after it was announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer, the governor’s office said Friday.
Recently appointed state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo will take over as head of the panel, according to a press release issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.
Casey DeSantis, a former Jacksonville television personality, has played a prominent role in her husband’s administration, particularly on issues such as mental-health and substance-abuse services.
“I’m proud of the First Lady’s leadership as Chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet,” the governor said in a statement. “Her commitment to children is unmatched, and she has continued to foster collaboration across state and local partners to benefit families in our state. As a mother, she understands that Florida’s youth need our support, love and care and we are all better for her leadership over the past three years.”
The children’s cabinet, created in 2007, is “charged with promoting and implementing collaboration, creativity, increased efficiency, information sharing and improved service delivery between and within state agencies and organizations,” according to Friday’s release.
The first lady in 2019 directed the panel to focus on prevention of youth suicide, the release noted. The governor issued a statement Monday about the first lady’s diagnosis, though the statement did not provide details about issues such as the type of breast cancer, the stage or treatment. Casey DeSantis, 41, is the mother of three children under age 5.