Dr. Kristina Box retiring as commissioner of Indiana Department of Health

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Dr. Kristina Box (IBJ photo/Mickey Shuey)

Dr. Kristina Box, who became a high-profile figure in Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to retire as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Health on May 31, the Governor’s Office announced Friday morning.

Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the department’s chief medical officer, to succeed Box.

Box and Weaver were both fixtures on the governor’s televised weekly press conferences during the height of the pandemic. Box, an obstetrician and gynecologist, has been health commissioner since October 2017.

Lindsay Weaver

Weaver, an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine who practices medicine at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, has been the state’s chief medical officer since February 2020—only a month before the state had its first case of COVID-19.

“Dr. Box and I began discussing this inevitability nearly a year ago, and I’m so grateful she agreed to stay on to shepherd the state Department of Health’s most ambitious legislative agenda yet,” Holcomb said in written remarks. “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 well-being 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.”

In addition to overseeing the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Box, 65, launched the Governor’s Public Health Commission, which is charged with taking a critical look at Indiana’s public health system and making recommendations for improvements.

She has advocated for an updated public health system in Indiana with a sustainable funding mechanism and she implemented the My Healthy Baby program statewide.

“It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve this administration, the Indiana Department of Health and Hoosiers across the state,” Box said in written comments. “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.”

The governor gave credit to Weaver for spearheading the development of the statewide lab testing network and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines statewide.

“Having worked closely with Dr. Weaver over the years, I know she too is committed to continuing our important work of assuring Hoosiers have awareness and access to public health services,” Holcomb said. “As the chief medical officer, she has shown the prerequisite character, patience and leadership skills needed as she helped manage our state through the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, collaborate with local health partners, community leaders and legislators to begin the implementation phase of our massively upgraded public health plan. This transfer of authority will truly be a seamless transition.”

Weaver also chairs the Indiana Commission for Women. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She received her residency training in emergency medicine and fellowship training in hospice and palliative medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

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5 thoughts on “Dr. Kristina Box retiring as commissioner of Indiana Department of Health

  1. Thank you, Dr Box for all your excellent care during a crisi not faced for a century. Thank you for doing your best to try and improve healthcare in Indiana, particularly for pregnant women.

  2. Thanks are not enough to express gratitude for your expertise, steadfastness, and compassion in leading our state through the most difficult recent years. Having followed your and Dr. Weaver’s direction, I have every confidence in the transition and am grateful to Gov. Holcomb for providing us with this leadership.

  3. She put in place a standardized levels of care for neonatal and obstetrics services that standardized and raised the quality of care for newborns and mothers across the State. This service will improve infant mortality and morbidity for years to come.