Health commissioner resigns for personal reasons

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana health commissioner has submitted his resignation to Gov. Mike Pence, citing personal reasons.

Dr. William VanNess said Friday he plans to stay on the job until Pence finds a replacement, saying he likely will stay on until early October. VanNess was appointed to the post in January 2013. He had retired at the end of 2012 as president and CEO of Community Hospital of Anderson after 15 years there.

VanNess has sought to emphasize reducing obesity, cutting smoking rates and improving the infant mortality rate during his tenure. Pence said the state will continue to tackle those challenges.

Governor Mike Pence released the following statement on Friday:

“Dr. VanNess has served Hoosiers passionately and with great dedication as State Health Commissioner and we will miss his leadership. During his tenure, the State Department of Health has identified critical health priorities and developed new strategies to improve the health of Hoosiers, including reducing smoking, obesity and infant deaths. The State of Indiana will continue to tackle these challenges head on, and I wish Dr. VanNess the best in his future endeavors.”

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