Dr. Dorothy Overman, who served as Comal County’s health authority for over 25 years and became the area’s most trusted source for information about COVID-19, will step down from her position at the end of November to attend to a fulltime family practice “that is busier than ever.”
As a consultant to the county, she worked with the Office of Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services on diseases affecting the community, disease prevention, public education, sheltering of evacuees and disaster preparedness.
After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Overman’s posts on the New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info Facebook page, a private group with almost 7,000 followers, were eagerly anticipated for her candid analysis about the outbreak’s impact on Comal County and Comal ISD.
She owns Hill Country Medical Associates, soon to be Christus Trinity Clinic. According to its website, Overman’s practice is the largest provider of family medicine in Comal County.
“The health-authority position has always been a part-time position but all of 2020, due to COVID, I have had to spend a great deal of time after-hours and weekends,” Overman said in an email to MyCanyonLake.com. “I decided that 25 years was a long enough time of service to Comal County. I have always loved public health and enjoyed my time in this position.”
Olivia Weisinger, a Comal ISD parent who is an administrator on the Open Comal Schools Safely Facebook page and served on Comal ISD’s Student Health Advisory Committee for the 2019-20 school year, said she met Overman on a citywide (New Braunfels) Zoom meeting about school reopenings.
She said Overman has worked hard to unite the community in the fight against COVID-19 and quickly responded to requests for medical information and updates about the virus.
“Dr. Overman has been a crucial asset to our community as she has consistently provided solid evidence and sound medical advice in a time of confusion and mayhem,” Weisinger said. “Her leaving is a loss to our county. I wish her the best.”
Overman graduated from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1982 and completed her residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 1985. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, Comal County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association.
In 2016 she was appointed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s 31-member Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, created to provide expert, evidence-based assessments, protocols and recommendations related to state responses to infectious diseases.
The task force served as a reliable and transparent source of information and education for Texas leadership and citizens.
In early July, Overman compared COVID-19 to a disaster movie.
“For me, it has been like watching a disaster movie in slow motion,” she said. “From the beginning when we first heard about what was happening in China I had a sense of dread. Doctors know about pandemics. As the coronavirus cases came to California, Washington and New York the worry increased. The virus arrived in Texas and Texas did the right thing and we went into stay-at-home orders. The cases stayed under control. When Texas reopened the cases steadily rose and now we are facing a huge rise in cases, hospitalizations and the deaths will follow. Unfortunately, it’s not a movie. It’s real and any of us may be caught up in this healthcare crisis.”
In recent Facebook posts, Overman warned residents about rising hospitalization rates in neighboring Bexar County and advised residents to take daily doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc.
She frequently advised residents to wear masks and practice social-distancing and urged residents to call their doctor if diagnosed with COVID-19 to get prescription medications to help them stay out of the hospital.
“Stay safe, Comal County,” she said.