Minnesota Health Commissioner Resigns

Gov. Mark Dayton already had directed the Minnesota Department of Human Services' Office of the Inspector General to help the Health Department improve the management of its investigations of elder neglect and abuse.

In the wake of media reports that his department mishandled reports of alleged criminal abuse in senior care facilities, Dr. Ed Ehlinger resigned Dec. 19 as Minnesota's commissioner of Health. Gov. Mark Dayton announced the same day that Health Department Deputy Commissioner Dan Pollock will serve as acting commissioner until Dayton appoints a permanent replacement.

Dayton thanked Ehlinger for his service and reiterated that he and his administration are focused on working immediately to improve the Health Department's efforts to protect seniors and properly investigate the allegations of elder neglect and abuse. Ehlinger has worked at the Health Department since January 2011.

"We are grateful to Commissioner Ehlinger for his many years of dedicated public service," Dayton said. "I wish him the very best in his future endeavors. And I pledge to the many dedicated employees at the Health Department our strong support in their efforts to improve the health and safety of all Minnesotans."

The governor's news release credited Dr. Ehlinger for leadership to reduce tobacco use, improve community-based health programs through the Statewide Health Improvement Program, improve health equity in Minnesota communities, expand access to life-saving health care for state residents, and during outbreaks of measles, avian influenza, and the Ebola outbreak. "It has been my great honor to serve the people of Minnesota," Ehlinger said. "I am thankful to Governor Dayton for this opportunity to serve, and grateful to the many tremendous public health professionals at the department for the work they do every day to improve the lives of Minnesotans. I am proud of the work we have done to make our state healthier, for all of us."

Dayton already had directed the Minnesota Department of Human Services' Office of the Inspector General to help the Health Department improve the management of its investigations of elder neglect and abuse.

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