WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Iowa Public Health Director Resigns

Jan 9, 2014

A former Congressional candidate in southeast Iowa has stepped down as the head of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa has stepped down as director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. She has twice ran for Congress, unsuccessfully, in the 2nd District.
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Governor Terry Branstad announced the resignation of Mariannette Miller-Meeks on Thursday, but did provide a reason for her departure.

Miller-Meeks is an opthalmologist from Ottumwa.  She twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District (2008 & 2010).

Miller Meeks was recently criticized for comments she made in October where she inaccurately stated that the top item bought with food stamps in Iowa is Mountain Due.

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health later said that Miller-Meeks "regrets that she miscommunicated the information."

Miller-Meeks says she will "explore other opportunities outside state government."

Governor Branstad has named deputy director Gerd Clabaugh as the interim director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.