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Pedati announces departure from Iowa Department of Public Health

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DES MOINES — In an abrupt development with little explanation, officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state’s medical director and epidemiologist, plans to leave the agency effective late October.

Pedati has served in her current dual role since June 2018 and worked as medical epidemiologist for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services prior to joining Iowa’s public health agency.

According to an IDPH press release, Pedati — who was a regular contributor during the governor’s weekly news briefings during the height of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa — plans to pursue new career opportunities.

“I want to thank Dr. Pedati for her outstanding service to the people of Iowa, especially throughout the pandemic,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “She has been instrumental to our state’s strong COVID-19 response and a valued member of my team. I wish her much success and happiness in all that she pursues.”

Officials in the state public health department said they planned to “work quickly” to fill the position.

“The work of the last 18 months has been difficult at best, and I remain immensely appreciative of Dr. Pedati’s steadfast partnership throughout,” said IDPH interim Director Kelly Garcia. “I, along with our teams at IDPH and the Department of Human Services, will miss her. Her personal sacrifice is to be commended and we wish her the very best as she begins this new chapter.”

Dozens protested Monday morning outside of the Cedar Falls Community Schools administration building over concerns with a temporary mask mandate put in place this week.

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