Gov. Doug Burgum today accepted the resignation of Dr. Andrew Stahl as interim State Health Officer, effective Aug. 31, thanking him for his service overseeing the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) and his work as a member of the state’s COVID-19 response team since the beginning of the pandemic.
Stahl has served as an officer in the North Dakota Army National Guard’s Medical Corps since 2009, currently holding the rank of major. As a member of the Guard’s COVID-19 Task Force since March, he had been providing strategic medical analysis for North Dakota’s COVID-19 response efforts when Burgum appointed him as interim state health officer effective June 1. Stahl informed the governor this week of his intent to return to his previous clinical practice and maintain his Medical Corps Officer credentials in the U.S. Army.
“We are deeply grateful for Dr. Stahl’s tireless dedication and service to the state of North Dakota during this incredibly challenging time,” Burgum said. “Under his leadership, the North Dakota Department of Health has continued to lead the way in protecting public health, partnering with state, local, federal and tribal agencies to save lives and livelihoods. We wish Dr. Stahl all the best as he returns to his clinical practice.”
“I want to thank Governor Burgum for the opportunity to serve as interim state health officer. It has been a very challenging and rewarding position," said Stahl. "COVID-19 has changed how we operate and has changed the practice of medicine in a huge way. I’m looking forward to continuing my plans to return to clinical practice and am thankful for the opportunity to serve.”
“The North Dakota National Guard has played a critical role in our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr. Stahl is a prime example of that exceptional service,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, the state’s adjutant general. “Through his involvement as a trusted advisor to the Unified Command and as state health officer, he has committed six solid months to this coronavirus fight at great personal sacrifice, and we are pleased that he will be able to spend more time with family, continue his medical career and serve in the North Dakota National Guard.”
Burgum said a search is underway for a replacement interim State Health Officer, and the permanent position will be posted soon.