Robert K. Spear, M.D.
Health Officer

Dr. Spear has been the Health Officer at the Vanderburgh County Health Department since March 2014. Prior to his time at the Health Department, he served as a Special Advisor to the President of St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Sleep Medicine Physician at St. Mary’s and Jasper Memorial Hospital, the Physician of staffing for the Bariatric Center and Pre-Procedure Clinic, Senior Vice President of Physician Services and Quality for St. Mary’s Health System of America, Inc.. Dr. Spear has served as the Administrative Lead for Trauma and Physician Driven Quality. Throughout his career Dr. Spear has developed plans for risk-adjusted Quality Data for Physicians and implemented a successful Data Roll Out and been involved in Strategic Planning at the system level and hospital level. Dr. Spear is and has been a member of the Patient Safety Council, the Patient Safety Advisory Council for Ascension Health, the Indiana State Medical Association, and the Vanderburgh County Medical Society. Dr. Spear has also served on the National Board for Critical Care Medicine and the Board of the Vanderburgh County Medical Society.


  • 1961-1963     St. Meinrad High School, St. Meinrad, IN
  • 1963-1965     Reitz Memorial Catholic High School, Evansville IN
  • 1965-1969     Purdue University, Lafayette, IN  B.S. SCIENCE
  • 1969-1973     IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis IN M.D.
  • 1976-1978     Pulmonary Fellowship, IUSM

Post Graduate Training:

  • 1973-1974 Internship, IUSM
  • 1974-1976 Internal Medicine Residency, IUSM
  • 1976-1978  Pulmonary Fellowship, IUSM
  • Certified American Board Internal Medicine June, 1976
  • Certified Subspecialty Board Pulmonary Medicine, 1980
  • Certified Subspecialty Board Critical Care Medicine, 1989
  • Fellow of the American College of Physicians
  • Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians


Joe Gries

Joe Gries has worked within county government for over 20 years. His government career started in the Knight Township Assessor’s office where he valued property and ended up as the Real Estate Supervisor for the 2002 township wide reassessment. In 2005 Joe became the Chief Deputy Auditor supervising the county’s finances and payroll departments. Joe was elected Vanderburgh County Auditor in 2010 and 2014.  The County Auditor is the chief financial officer of the county and works closely with the County Council and Commissioners as well as all county elected officials preparing the yearly county budget. In 2016 Joe joined the Health Department as the Administrator and has worked closely with our Health Officer, Board of Health, and staff to continue to improve the public health services provided to our community.