COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff will take over as the director for the Ohio Department of Health. 

Vanderhoff, who is currently the chief medical officer for the department, will assume the new position starting Monday, Aug. 16. 

Stephanie McCloud, who has been serving as director since November, is returning to lead the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as the administrator. 

“Working together as a team, Stephanie McCloud and Bruce Vanderhoff guided the Ohio Department of Health over the past nine months. I am pleased that Dr. Vanderhoff has agreed to serve as Director of the Ohio Department of Health," DeWine wrote in a press release. "His medical and organizational expertise will help the department as we move forward and continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. I would also like to thank Stephanie McCloud for her leadership of the Ohio Department of Health and look forward to her return to lead the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation."

McCloud took over the role after the position had been vacant since June 2020 when former director Dr. Amy Acton left the post. 

In September, DeWine appointed Dr. Joan Duwve to fill the vacancy, but she withdrew just hours later due to a concern that her family would face similar harassment as Acton.

During the height of the pandemic, Acton helped DeWine make decisions such as a stay-at-home order, business closures and a mask mandate that led to some backlash. At one point, protesters showed up in front of her Bexley home to push back against the state's orders. 

When McCloud was in charge, Vanderhoff was the most visible representative of the department, appearing regularly with DeWine at COVID news conferences, while McCloud focused on administrative responsibilities. 

Vanderhoff assumes the role with significant challenges lying ahead for the department. Ohio and the country are in the midst of another surge of COVID-19 driven by the more contagious delta variant.