Elkhart County Announces New Health Officer To Replace Dr. Lydia Mertz

Dec 24, 2020

Dr. Bethany Wait
Credit Photo provided by the Elkhart Co. Health Dept.

On Christmas Eve the Elkhart Couny Board of Health announced that it had hired a new County Health Officer, Dr. Bethany Wait. Wait will replace Dr. Lydia Mertz who is retiring at the end of 2020.


You can read more in the following release:                                                                                                      Elkhart County, Indiana (December 23, 2020) – Tonight, in a special session, the Elkhart County Board of Health proceeded with the appointment of a new Elkhart County Health Officer. Dr. Bethany Wait will replace the current Elkhart County Health Officer, Dr. Lydia Mertz, who is retiring at the end of December 2020. On Monday, December 28, 2020, the Elkhart County Commissioners will address  certification of the Board of Health’s appointment and approval of Dr. Wait’s employment agreement.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “We are pleased to announce that Dr. Bethany Wait has accepted our offer to lead the Elkhart County Health Department beginning January 1, 2021 when Dr. Lydia Mertz retires,” said Randy J. Cammenga, MD, FACEP, Chairman of the Elkhart County Board of Health. “Dr. Wait is well known in the community as an excellent physician with strong administrative skills. We are fortunate to have her in this leadership position, particularly now as Dr. Mertz retires and we continue to address Covid-19 in Elkhart County.”                                                                                                                                                                                              Dr. Wait, a native of Goshen, Indiana, is a Board-Certified Family Physician and Managing Partner at Goshen Family Physicians. She also serves as a member of the medical staff at Goshen Health and Medical Director for Goshen College. Wait earned her medical degree at Michigan State University of Osteopathic Medicine and did her Residency with Memorial Family Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Indiana State Medical Association, and the  American Medical Association.                                                                                                                                                                                                             “I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Wait as part of the medical staff at Goshen Hospital. She is kind, compassionate and an outstanding physician,” added Dr. Michelle Bache, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Elkhart General. “Elkhart County is fortunate to have her in the role of County Health Officer.”Wait, intends to audit Elkhart County Health meetings until she officially assumes the role of County Health Officer on January 1, 2021.                                                                                                                                                                            “Bethany Wait DO is an excellent clinician and leader in our community,” said Randy Christophel, MBA,FACHE, President and CEO of Goshen Health. “We are blessed to have her as our new Health Officer.”Dr. Lydia Mertz who has served as Elkhart County Health Officer since December of 2017, announced inearly 2020 that she intended to retire at the end of the year. “Dr. Mertz has done a phenomenal job at a very challenging time.” added Cammenga. “It’s important to note that she too, is fond of Dr. Wait. And that we are in good hands moving forward.”                                                                                                                         “We are lucky to have such a gifted physician eager to head the Elkhart County Health Department,” said Mertz. “I can retire knowing the department is in good hands. The citizens of Elkhart County will beable to trust her guidance through to the end of this pandemic.”