Hours After DeWine Names New Health Director, Candidate Declines Position

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just hours after announcing a new director of the Ohio Department of Health, the candidate for the position has removed herself from consideration.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had earlier named Joan Duwve, M.D., MPH, as the director of the Ohio Department of Health. Within hours the following was released from Governor DeWine’s office, “This evening, Dr. Joan Duwve withdrew her name from consideration for the position of Director of the Ohio Department of Health, citing personal reasons. The Governor’s administration will continue its search for a full-time Director of the Ohio Department of Health.”

Prior to Dr. Duwve turning the position down, DeWine was welcoming her to his staff. “This unprecedented time calls for true leadership to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives,” said Governor DeWine.  “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.”

“I am thrilled to return to Ohio, where I grew up,” said Dr. Duwve, at the time of the announcement, “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.” 

A graduate of North Olmsted High School, Dr. Duwve 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, Dr. Duwve served as the Director of Public Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control under South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R).  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.