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DeWine names new health director

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine named a new director for the state’s Department of Health on Thursday.

Joan Duwve, M.D., MPH, is a graduate of North Olmsted High School. She attended undergraduate school at The Ohio State University. She received a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Medical Doctor Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Most recently, Duwve served as the Director of Public Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control under South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.  Prior to her time in South Carolina, she served as an Associate Dean of Practice for the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and developed and directed the ECHO Center to train providers in rural communities to treat patients with complex conditions. Dr. Duwve also served Indiana Governors Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb, as the Chief Medical Officer with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Medical Director for the Department’s Division of Public Health and Preparedness. Before transitioning into her role improving public health, Dr. Duwve practiced family medicine.

She will fill the position vacated by Amy Acton, who resigned earlier this year. Lance Himes has been serving as interim director the last few months.

“This unprecedented time calls for true leadership to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives,” DeWine said.  “We welcome Dr. Duwve to our team. Her clinical experience and leadership to strengthen public health infrastructure will help guide Ohio as we navigate through this pandemic and modernize Ohio’s public health system.”

Duwve said she was “thrilled” to return to Ohio.

“Through forging strong partnerships across the state, I firmly believe that together, we can build healthier communities that in turn create greater opportunities for all Ohioans to thrive,” she said.