Allen County Health Commissioner Set to Retire in June

January 28th, 2020

After 20 years serving as Allen County health commissioner, Dr. Deborah McMahan announced plans Monday to retire later this year.

The announcement was made at the Allen County Executive Board of Health meeting at Citizens Square Monday evening. The Executive Board will begin the search process for her replacement in the coming weeks. McMahan will step away from her full-time duties as health commissioner in early June and will remain with the Department part-time for a short period following to assist with the transition and training of a new health commissioner.  

“Being a physician and the health commissioner have been the greatest professional privileges of my life,” McMahan said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have both worked one-on-one with patients and with various community groups and residents on important public health issues. In my 20 year tenure, I have seen life and public health become more complicated. However, I am confident our community leaders and stakeholders will continue to collaborate to ensure Allen County is safe, healthy and prosperous.”  

Department Administrator Mindy Waldron and members of the Executive Board of Health expressed their gratitude for her long-time service and public health efforts in the community.  

“Dr. McMahan has a passion for the public’s health overall and the drive to carry out what most might never attempt,” Waldron said. “She has taken this department to a level of proactivity we will all endeavor to carry on long after she leaves. She is truly an inspiration when it comes to developing initiatives to make the community a healthier place to live and prosper.”  

McMahan was appointed health commissioner of Allen County in May 2000. During her tenure she helped lead successful responses to numerous disease outbreaks – including the H1N1 influenza pandemic and hepatitis A outbreaks; she oversaw the development of a community-wide Children’s Health Improvement Plan; and she helped establish collaborative partnerships across sectors to combat the local opioid and drug crisis.

McMahan is a state-licensed physician, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services civil surgeon, and a member of the Fort Wayne Medical Society. Prior to becoming Health Commissioner, she spent three years in private practice as an internist with the Medical Group of Fort Wayne and a year with the Roudebush V.A. Medical Center in Indianapolis. 

She earned a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in 1986 and a 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.

Throughout her career, McMahan has also 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; the Indiana University Alumni Association President’s Award; and The Journal Gazette 2017 Citizen of the Year.