Sutter announces resignation, asks the authorities to start searching for his successor

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WPTA) – Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter has informed board members that he will be stepping down from the post he has held for about two years and asked them at the end of Monday’s meeting to start a search for his successor.

Shortly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2020, Sutter assumed the role of chief medical officer. He inherited the post from Dr. Deborah McMahan, who retired after 20 years in office.

Sutter announced his decision as part of the board’s “new business,” stating that it was his “intention to retire from public service … effective this summer — probably in July.”

Sutter said he accepted the position with the intention of holding it “during the emergency phase of COVID,” noting that although he has helped lead the county through the pandemic, his responsibilities in the private sector have increased. In late 2020, Sutter was named chief medical officer at IU Health Fort Wayne, which is in the midst of an aggressive expansion.

The board members thanked and commended Sutter for the work he had done and joked that he would like to keep the post “if you ever change your mind.”

According to the ministry’s website, health officer responsibilities include:

  • Enforcement of all applicable public health laws, ordinances and regulations relating to the position;
  • Served as medical director of the department’s clinics;
  • providing public health guidance to the department’s various departments, as well as consulting with various physicians and other health professionals and authorities;
  • evaluating and developing programs to provide and promote maximum health protection for county residents;
  • Working with the department administrator to coordinate, direct and control the operations of all departments in the department and to set and implement short-term and long-term goals;
  • Act as the official spokesperson for the department on all public health issues and delegate public relations and media relations duties to other department staff as necessary;
  • maintaining a working relationship with the Fort Wayne Medical Society, the Indiana State Department of Health and other governmental and regulatory agencies; and
  • Performance of the associated tasks on behalf of the health department.

There was no immediate indication of a timetable for identifying and hiring a new commissioner.

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