FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Allen County’s health commissioner, Dr. Matthew Sutter, has announced plans to resign.
Sutter made the announcement during an Executive Board of Health regular meeting Monday night at Citizens Square.
Sutter was named the county’s health commissioner on May 28, 2020, replacing Dr. Deborah McMahan, who had served in the role since 2000.
Sutter led the community through the height of the coronavirus pandemic. He was behind decisions to install restrictions like capacity limits, and pushed vaccinations, masking and physical distancing, to reduce the spread of the virus.
Sutter told the board Monday night that he took the position with the caveat that he would lead the county “through the emergency phase of COVID” then reevaluate. He said he’s taken on an additional role as Chief Medical Officer at IU Health of Fort Wayne.
“Being health commissioner is among the greatest professional privileges I have experienced,” said Sutter. “The decision to leave was incredibly difficult. I have worked for two years with dedicated and hard-working Allen County Department of Health staff, and I am grateful for the opportunity. But now is the right time for me to make the move.”
Sutter will official retire from public service in July.
Mindy Waldron, the Department Administrator, joked they could try to chain him to a chair to keep him from leaving.
“Dr. Sutter’s passion for public health is clear, and we are grateful for his work during and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Waldron. “The past two years were filled with uncertainty and near-constant change. His calm, steady leadership and easy ability to effectively communicate difficult topics will be missed.”
The Allen County Board of Health will form a committee to search for Dr. Sutter’s replacement. This will be the second search in two years.