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State Health Commissioner Dr. Box to retire

Kristina Box.JPG
Posted at 3:05 PM, May 12, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Dr. Kristina Box will retire from her role as State Health Commissioner at the end of May.

Box has served in this role with the Indiana Department of Health since she was appointed in October of 2017. She will be succeeded by current chief medical officer, Dr. Lindsay Weaver.

“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. 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,” Gov. Holcomb said.

"I also appreciate how she’s been working on a succession plan with Dr. Weaver, another national all-star, to ensure the successful implementation of our new public health plan. Dr. Box’s dedication to seeing the public health commission plan from ideas to action is a remarkable feat in and of itself. Her competitive refusal to lose is a key reason why our state will win for years to come,” Gov. Holcomb said.

Box became well known by Hoosiers for her daily briefings alongside Governor Holcomb during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a release from the governor's office, Dr. Box is also credited with the following accomplishments under her leadership:

  • Launched the Governor’s Public Health Commission, charged with taking a critical look at Indiana’s public health system and making recommendations for improvements.
  • Advocated for a modernized public health system in Indiana through a sustainable funding mechanism that will have a generational impact on Hoosiers.
  • Implemented My Healthy Baby statewide to build a network of services and support to create healthier outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Conducted the state’s initiative in preventing lead poisoning in children six-years-old and younger through accessible screenings.
  • Led the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the most significant public health event in a century, and through coordination efforts with local, state and federal agencies and health partners, countless lives were saved.

“It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve this administration, the Indiana Department of Health and Hoosiers across the state,” Dr. Box said. “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. I am incredibly proud of the work being done and will forever be grateful to those who continue to make improving the health and wellbeing of Hoosiers a priority.”

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Dr. Weaver, who will take over for Box on June 1, is credited with spearheading the development of the statewide lab testing network and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and ensured that those vaccines, as well as testing, was accessible to all residents of Indiana.

“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,” Gov. 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.”

Dr. Weaver is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and she continues to practice medicine at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. She chairs the Indiana Commission for Women.

Dr. Weaver 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.

“Taking over the position of state health commissioner from Dr. Box is an enormous responsibility, and it is an honor to follow in her footsteps,” Dr. Weaver said. “Dr. Box has provided exceptional leadership during the past six years and her commitment to public health has been an inspiration to many. I look forward to building on her legacy, implementing the recommendations of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, and continuing to work toward a healthier Indiana."