Toledo, OH – Today, the Board of Lucas County Commissioners, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and District Advisory Council Chair Andy Glenn held a press conference to announce the formation of a special citizen’s task force to address numerous issues at the Toledo/Lucas County Health Department.
This special citizens task force is charged with examining the Health Department’s operational effectiveness and financial viability, efficiencies of its public health clinics, human resource issues, as well as the implementation of the City of Toledo’s lead ordinance.
“The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is an important resource for a thriving community. The health department’s operations and processes have come under scrutiny of late,” said Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak. “Policy leaders have joined together today to announce the creation of a special task force to review the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. Their operational policies and programs need oversight, review and recommendations to move forward to enhance the health and well-being of our community,” concluded Commissioner Wozniak.
“The City of Toledo provides the majority of funding for the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and so it is our responsibility to ensure that these taxpayer dollars are put to effective use to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens,” said Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson. “And while the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is managed under a board structure, providing a financial and operational evaluation will help the organization to move forward on a stronger foundation.”
“As the chair of the District Advisory Council, I believe this task force is necessary to ensure that all Lucas County residents are being served by the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and that the financial viability of the health department is strong,” said Springfield Township Trustee Andy Glenn. “I want to thank the members of the citizens task force for serving on this important committee. My greatest hope is that this process leads to better service and a more inclusive health department,” concluded Trustee Glenn.
“Under the laws of the State of Ohio, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department must protect the health and well-being of all residents of Lucas County, including food safety, enforcing environmental standards, disease prevention and healthy living,” said Commissioner Carol Contrada. “This task force must ensure that the essential mission of the health department is being fulfilled,” concluded Commissioner Contrada.
“The stated mission of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is clear. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is committed to being the leader in public health by promoting and protecting the health of all people where they live, learn, work, and play. And it is also clear that they are not reaching this goal,” said Commissioner Pete Gerken. “I welcome the work of the special task force and look forward to working with them to ensure healthy outcomes for our entire community,” concluded Commissioner Gerken.
The seven members of the special citizens task force include:
-Rob Salem – Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Toledo
-Dr. Riaz Chaudhary – Internal Medicine Specialist and President of Oregon Clinic, Inc.
-Jan Ruma – Executive Director of Toledo/Lucas County CareNet and Vice President of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio
-Catherine Hernandez – Toledo Federation of Teachers Officer and TPS teacher
-Kevin West- Senior Director of Faculty Relations and Academic Inclusion Officer at the University of Toledo
-Sarah Skow – Partner at Spangler Nathanson Law Office
The special citizens task force will report back with recommendations to move forward following a full review. The first meeting of the task force will be held on June 7, 2017.