Indiana Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box will retire at the end of the month, Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement May 12.
Holcomb has already tabbed Box’s successor as Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the chief medical officer for the state health department, who will assume the role.
Talks between the governor and Box started almost a year ago about her plans to retire. She has served in the Holcomb Administration since October 2017.
“The past five and a half years have been filled with challenges and opportunities unlike any that public health has ever encountered, and the public health workforce across the state has met those challenges with a heart and determination that have inspired me every day,” Box said. “I am incredibly proud of the work being done and will forever be grateful to those who continue to make improving the health and wellbeing of Hoosiers a priority.”
In her position, Box was responsible for guiding the state through the COVID-19 pandemic. That work included collaborating with local and federal officials, other state leaders and health care providers to contain the spread of the virus. According to the state’s dashboard, more than 25,000 Hoosiers died from the virus, but Holcomb noted Box’s work saved “countless lives” across the state.
Box also helped create the Governor’s Public Health Commission. That task force developed several recommendations that the General Assembly approved during this year’s session and earmarked $225 million in funding for health services across the state’s 92 counties.
“I’m so grateful she agreed to stay on to shepherd the state Department of Health’s most ambitious legislative agenda yet,” the governor said. “I respect no one more and am so pleased she’ll get to enjoy her next chapter, which is focusing on her family. I could not have had a better partner in this role, especially in this time. She genuinely cares about the health and wellbeing of every single Hoosier, and because of her dedication to the betterment of our overall public health system, the state is at the forefront of transformational change that will result in a healthier Indiana.”
Weaver, who also serves as a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and maintains an active practice at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said succeeding Box will be “an enormous responsibility.”
“Dr. Box has provided exceptional leadership during the past six years, and her commitment to public health has been an inspiration to many,” Weaver said. “I look forward to building on her legacy, implementing the recommendations of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, and continuing to work toward a healthier Indiana.”
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