Dr. Joan Duwve backed out of Ohio job after learning family of previous director was harassed

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s public health director is leaving her job after her plans to take a new job in Ohio unraveled.

Joan Duwve has been public health director in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control since April.

On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted that the Ohio native would be running his state’s health department. But only hours later, his office said she had withdrawn her name from consideration.

Duwve says she learned the the family of the former director in Ohio was harassed so she decided not to take the new job.

“In conversations preparing for the transition to the Ohio Department of Health, I was informed that the former director’s family had faced harassment from the public, Duwve told The State newspaper. “While I have dedicated my life to improving public health, my first commitment is to my family. I am a public figure. My family is off limits. I withdrew my name from consideration to protect my family from similar treatment.”

South Carolina officials say Dr. Brannon Traxler will now be South Carolina’s interim public health director.

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