INDIANAPOLIS – State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box will retire from the Indiana Department of Health at the end of May.

Box, who became well known among Hoosiers for her briefings during the COVID-19 pandemic, will step away from the job on May 31. Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the department’s chief medical officer, as Box’s successor.

The governor appointed Box as state health commissioner in October 2017.

“I respect no one more and am so pleased she’ll get to enjoy her next chapter, which is focusing on her family,” Holcomb said. “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.”

Holcomb indicated he and Box began discussing her retirement about a year ago. The soon-to-be former health commissioner worked on a succession plan with Weaver.

“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,” Holcomb said.

Box called serving as health commissioner the “greatest honor” of her professional life.

“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,” Box said. “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.”

Holcomb lauded Box for her efforts in launching the Governor’s Public Health Committee and working to modernize the state’s public health system. He also noted her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying her coordination with local, state and federal agencies saved “countless lives.”

Dr. Lindsay Weaver/Indiana State Department of Health

Weaver, who will begin her role as health commissioner on June 1, called it an “honor” to follow in Box’s footsteps.

“Dr. Box has provided exceptional leadership during the past six years and her commitment to public health has been an inspiration to many,” Weaver said. “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.”