Health Commissioner


Deborah McMahan, MD

Deborah McMahan, MD, was appointed Health Commissioner of Allen County in May 2000. In that capacity, she is charged with carrying out the department’s mission of promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing injury and disease for all of Allen County’s 363,000 residents.

An Indiana native, Dr. McMahan has spent most of her professional life working in health and human services. She earned her B.S. from Purdue University in 1986 and medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1990. Following residency training in internal medicine, she completed a research fellowship with the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis.

Prior to becoming Health Commissioner, Dr. McMahan spent a year with the Roudebush V.A. Medical Center in Indianapolis and three years in private practice as an internist with the Medical Group of Fort Wayne.

Dr. McMahan is a state-licensed physician, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services civil surgeon, and a member of the Fort Wayne Medical Society. She is a member of the advisory boards for: Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES; Neighborhood Health Clinics, Manchester University College of Pharmacy and the Allen County Juvenile Justice Center.

During her career, Dr. McMahan has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Public Health Work from the American Public Health Association; Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women; the Raymond Rosenberger-Minette Baum Award from St. Joseph Community Health Foundation; Paul Harris Fellow and the Indiana University Alumni Association President’s Award. 


The Health Commissioner is the executive officer of the Allen County Department of Health. The position is appointed by the Executive Board of Health to a four-year term. Re-appointments occur every four years with the number of re-appointments unlimited.

The duties of Health Commissioner include:

  • Enforcing all applicable public health laws, ordinances and regulations relating to the position;
  • Serving as the Medical Director of the department’s clinics;
  • Providing public health guidance to the various divisions of the department, as well as consulting with various physicians and other health professionals and agencies;
  • Assessing and developing programs to provide and promote the maximum health protection for county residents;
  • Working with the Department Administrator to coordinate, direct and control the operation of all divisions in the department and to establish and implement short and long-range goals;
  • Serving as official spokesperson for the department for all public health-related issues and delegating public and media relations duties to other department personnel as needed;
  • Serving as a member of the smallpox response team;
  • Maintaining a working relationship with the Fort Wayne Medical Society, the Indiana State Department of Health and other government and regulating agencies; and
  • Performing related duties as assigned by the Executive Board of Health.