GOSHEN -- Dr. Daniel Nafziger will succeed Dr. Aixsa Perez as the county's new health officer, starting Aug. 3.
Elkhart County Board of Health Chairman Max Mertz announced the appointment at a special meeting Thursday.
Nafziger will resign his full-time position as medical director of the Mennonite Mutual Aid Association when he comes to the health department, but will continue practicing as a specialist in infectious diseases for Goshen Health System, Mertz said.
Dr. Perez stepped down April 15 and had been serving as the interim health officer. Mertz said she will serve as the interim officer until Nafziger starts.
County commissioners had proposed hiring a physician on a part-time basis to fill the health officer post, with a full-time administrator overseeing the department's administrative functions. The Board of Health wanted a full-time health officer to handle both medical and administrative functions. That had been the arrangement with Perez, who plans to operate a hospital for specialized treatment in her native Puerto Rico when she leaves Elkhart County.
Mertz said Nafziger will be based in the health department's Elkhart office at 608 Oakland Ave., but he will travel to the department's offices throughout the county.