CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Commissioner and State Health Officer for the West Virginia Department of Health and Resources Bureau of Public Health Dr. Ayne Amjad, MD, MPH, has announced she is stepping down from her role.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced Amjad’s decision during his semi-daily COVID-19 press briefing. He says she will continue to have a role in the briefings and will also serve on a contract basis as the governor’s senior advisor to the state health officer and commissioner for the DHHR Bureau of Public Health.

Amjad said the reason she is stepping back is to return to her clinical practice. She will transition to the new role on Oct. 1, 2022.

“It’s been probably the highlight of my career and my life to actually serve with you and our entire team here on the pandemic leadership team as well as the DHHR,” Amjad said. “The reason I’m stepping back is just to return to my clinical practice. I do miss seeing my patients. That’s a great bond for me and a great way for me to know what’s going on, so I do miss that part of this role. However, I’m happy to stay on and serve as needed as long as I can.”

Justice called the announcement “bittersweet.”

“Dr. Amjad came and stepped up at a time when we really, really needed somebody. Her degrees are unbelievable. She is so smart it’s just off the chart, and so kind and good in what she does,” Justice said. “We’ve got to step back and thank her for her incredible service… We want to congratulate her as she moves on to different areas of her life. Doc, I can never thank you enough.”