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Iowa State Medical Director Caitlin Pedati To Step Down

Charlie Neibergall
AP File
Iowa state epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati updates the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference at the Iowa Statehouse last year.

Iowa health officials announced Wednesday that State Medical Director Caitlin Pedati will be stepping down in late October.

In a press release announcing the change, state officials did not give a reason for Pedati’s departure and did not say where she is headed next, saying only that she will "pursue new career opportunities."

Pedati started the position as the state’s top medical expert in June 2018 and has been central to Iowa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Gov. Kim Reynolds thanked Pedati for her service.

"She has been instrumental to our state’s strong COVID-19 response and a valued member of my team. I wish her much success and happiness in all that she pursues," Reynolds said.

Pedati previously worked for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. She took over for former state medical director and epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk, who held the position for 24 years.

Interim state public health department director Kelly Garcia said in a statement that she is "immensely appreciative" of the her partnership with Pedati during the pandemic.

"I, along with our teams at IDPH and the Department of Human Services will miss her," Garcia said. "Her personal sacrifice is to be commended and we wish her the very best as she begins this new chapter.”

State health officials said they are working quickly to fill the position.

Natalie Krebs is IPR's Health Reporter