Gov. Pence names Carmel psychiatrist as next secretary of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration
Gov. Mike Pence tapped Dr. John. J. Wernert of Carmel to lead Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration.
Wernert would be the first doctor in the history of the agency to serve as secretary.
“With more than two decades in the medical field serving some of our most vulnerable Hoosiers, Dr. John J. Wernert has the expertise, character and history of service to lead Indiana’s Family & Social Services Administration,” Pence said. “With his extensive background in medical practice and administration, Dr. Wernert is uniquely qualified to lead the Family & Social Services Administration during this time of opportunity and transition.”
A practicing psychiatrist in central Indiana since 1989, Wernert currently serves as the Medical Director of Medical Management at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as well as the Medical Director for Behavioral Health Integration for the Franciscan Alliance system in Indiana.
He also is the incoming President of the Indiana State Medical Association, a member of the Wisconsin Physician Services Federal Medicare Advisory Committee and a member of the Drug Utilization Review Board for the Indiana Medicaid program.
Wernert will resign from each of these positions before beginning his new role as Secretary of FSSA.
Wernert also serves as the Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and he has held various leadership roles in medical professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Indianapolis Medical Society.
He is also a consultant for the Catholic Archdioceses of Indianapolis, as well as a member of a number of charitable boards. Most recently, he worked as the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for MDwise.
Previously, Wernert held positions at various hospitals managing geriatric Inpatient units and Behavioral Health consulting services including St. Francis Hospital and Health System, Winona Hospital Senior Adult Unit, ADVANTAGE Health Plan, Clarian Health, Indianapolis Psychiatric Associates and Methodist Medical Group.
He is a partner in Professional Development Associates, a consulting group that provides continuing medical education programs and telehealth services.
Wernert has also worked in various long-term care facilities, community health centers and federally qualified health centers throughout Indiana. His clinical work has focused on providing comprehensive services for the uninsured and Medicaid populations in high need areas of the state.
Wernert earned his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University and his M.D. from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, also obtained postgraduate degrees in the fields of public management and health administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.