State officials have hired a new state medical director.

Dr. Robert Kruse, the director of occupational health at MercyOne in Des Moines, will fill the role of state medical director that’s been vacant for more than nine months. Dr. Caitlyn Pedati resigned as state epidemiologist and state medical director last October and she’s now a district director for Virginia’s Department of Public Health.

Dr. Kruse, Pedati’s replacement, earned a degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa and two medical degrees from St. George’s University in the West Indies. Dr. Kruse was a professor in the medical school at Rutgers before taking a top administrative job at MercyOne in Des Moines.

The news release announcing Kruse had been hired as state medical director did not indicate when he’d start that new job.