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Health commissioner resigns for personal reasons

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana health commissioner has submitted his resignation to Gov. Mike Pence, citing personal reasons.

Dr. William VanNess said Friday he plans to stay on the job until Pence finds a replacement, saying he likely will stay on until early October.

VanNess was appointed to the post in January 2013. He had retired at the end of 2012 as president and CEO of Community Hospital of Anderson after 15 years there.

Pence issued a statement saying VanNess’ leadership will be missed.

VanNess has sought to emphasize reducing obesity, cutting smoking rates and improving the infant mortality rate during his tenure. Pence said the state will continue to tackle those challenges.

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