The Allegheny County Board of Health continues its nearly year-long national search for a permanent director.
But the interim director, Ronald Voorhees, who previously had said he was interested in applying for the permanent post, has withdrawn his name.
Dr. Voorhees said Tuesday that he told the board last month he was withdrawing.
"It was a tough decision and I really feel committed to the department," Dr. Voorhees said.
But health issues -- he has regular migraines, he said -- and a desire to do more on the work with early childhood development that he began when he came to Pittsburgh six years ago from New Mexico, combined to make him decide he didn't want the top job.
He was the Allegheny County Health Department's chief of epidemiology and biostatistics before he was elevated to interim director last June in the wake of the health board's firing of the late, longtime health director, Bruce Dixon.
Dr. Voorhees said he hopes to work out some agreement that will allow him to continue his work.
It is not known when the health board will make a final decision on the director's post.