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Dr. Joan Duwve appointed new director of Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Department of Health
Posted at 3:15 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 20:58:57-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — UPDATE: Just hours after announcing Dr. Joan Duwve would be filling the director of the Ohio Department of Health position, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that she had withdrawn her name from consideration for the position and the administration will continue its search for a full-time director of the Ohio Department of Health.

PREVIOUS STORY: After looking for a replacement for former health director Dr. Amy Acton, who stepped down from the position in June, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that Dr. Joan Duwve will serve as the Director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Duwve, a native of Ohio, is a medical doctor who has extensive experience in public health and most recently served as the Director of Public Health under South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster at the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, DeWine said.

Prior to working in South Carolina, Duwve served Indiana governors Mitch Daniels, Eric Holcomb and Mike Pence as the Chief Medical Officer with the Indiana Department of Health and as the Medical Director for the Division of Public Health and Preparedness, according to DeWine.

Duwve is a graduate of North Olmsted High School and attended The Ohio State University before attending the University of Michigan to receive a Master of Public Health degree and getting her Medical Doctor degree from John Hopkins University.

“Dr. Duwve shares my passion for and commitment to children’s issues and many other pressing public health issues, including substance use treatment and prevention, lead paint awareness and remediation, suicide prevention, smoking cessation, and injury prevention,” DeWine said.

Duwve replaced Acton in the position, who stepped down following a surge in public criticism from a vocal minority, some of whom held protests at the Statehouse and even in her neighborhood. While she faced criticism, Acton was admired by many, inspiring a Facebook fan page, a bill to declare a day in February “Dr. Amy Acton Day,” was commemorated with her own bobblehead and even appeared on a “Sesame Street” special on CNN.

Acton served as DeWine’s chief health adviser even after stepping down from her role as health director, but left the chief adviser role as well in August to return to her work at the Columbus Foundation.

Lance Himes served as interim director after Acton stepped down.

RELATED: Dr. Amy Acton leaving state government to return to Columbus Foundation

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