Miller-Meeks resigns from the Iowa Department of Public Health

Governor Terry Branstad’s office announced today that the governor accepted Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ resignation as director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. I’ve posted the press release after the jump. It does not explain why Miller-Meeks stepped down after nearly three years running the state agency.

Yesterday Miller-Meeks told the Des Moines Register that her false comment about Mountain Dew being the top purchase for Iowa food stamp recipients was “not political at all.”

“What I was trying to – perhaps not deftly – argue or state was: Should we have nutritional education for SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program], like we do for WIC [aid for Women, Infants and Children], and some prohibition for certain items?”

I would guess that her resignation is related to plans to run for Congress in Iowa’s second district, not any gaffe about food stamps. Heck, in the Republican Party what Miller-Meeks said probably isn’t even a gaffe.  

Branstad, Reynolds accept Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ resignation as director of Iowa Department of Public Health

January 9, 2014

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced he has accepted the resignation of Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

“It is with regret that I accept Mariannette’s resignation, as she was a director who served with great passion,” said Branstad.  “Mariannette has been a champion of health in Iowa, including working to promote our Healthiest State Initiative. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I thank her for her service to the people of Iowa.”

“Mariannette’s passion for serving the people of Iowa and promoting healthy lifestyles was and asset as we embarked on our mission of becoming the healthiest state in the nation,” said Reynolds. “We wish Mariannette the best in her future endeavors and thank her for her service.”

Miller-Meeks has served as the agency’s director since Branstad and Reynolds took office.

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve Governor Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and the people of Iowa,” said Miller-Meeks. “I have worked with dedicated and talented individuals in the Iowa Department of Public Health.  As I explore other opportunities outside state government, I will always value and fondly remember my time working to promote and protect the health of Iowans.”

Branstad has named Gerd Clabaugh the interim director of IDPH. Clabaugh currently serves as the department’s deputy director.

Miller-Meeks’ resignation is effective January 17, 2014. A photo of Miller-Meeks can be found here.

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