Clinton County Health District Appoints New Medical Advisor

WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Health Department (CCHD) has appointed a new medical advisor, succeeding retired Dr. Terry Holten, and it has also hired a registered dietitian who will work remotely from Tennessee.

Steven J. Englender, MD of Cincinnati holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of California in addition to a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Most recently, he served as Director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness, Cincinnati Health Department, from April 2004 to December 2018. And he served as State Epidemiologist, Director, Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning, Kentucky Department for Public Health, July 2001 to April 2004.

Englender has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and three times in the American Journal of Public Health.

Although his title as Medical Advisor to the Clinton County Health Department differs from that of Dr. Holten, his predecessor, whose title was Medical Director, Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Walker-Bauer, has said the roles were similar.

The biggest difference, Walker-Bauer added, is that Dr. Holten was paid hourly in her role as medical director. Holten also performed data analysis, which the Clinton County Health Department now assigns to its contract epidemiologist.

Englender began his working relationship as a medical advisor for the Clinton County Health District in February.

On Monday, the Clinton County Board of Health approved a remote working policy document specific to the WIC (women, infants and children) dietitian position. On Tuesday, Rachel Eichholtz of Lenoir City, Tennessee accepted an official offer for the position.

Eichholtz holds a combined master’s degree in nutritional science and a master’s degree in public health. Clinton County Health District WIC Director Renee Quallen said Eichholtz has a strong interest in diabetes in pregnancy.

In writing a remote work policy for a WIC public health professional, Quallen said they relied on the Franklin County Remote Work Policy and other similar documents.

Quallen said there were no candidates from Clinton County or “anywhere near that part of Ohio” for the job.

Also, finding a dietitian has traditionally been difficult in this field, especially in the public health sector because of the compensation that public health agencies can offer compared to a hospital system, she said.

Eichholtz has ties to Ohio, having grown up in Pickerington in central Ohio and earned his Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Ashland University in Ohio.

Walker-Bauer said: “We were able to tell in the interview that it will be a good cultural fit [with Clinton County].”

The WIC dietitian will work 21 hours per week for the Clinton County Health District. Eichholtz will conduct the phone interview for the health assessment and perform the hazard code and food packaging assignments.

The height/weight information piece will be done with Quallen in person at local health department offices when this requirement returns.

Eichholtz is expected to come to Wilmington for her first week of employment, when she will purchase technical equipment, meet in person with county health department staff and receive training here.

In a research project under the auspices of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that studied in-person and telephone consultations at WIC centers in New York City before and during COVID, the July 2021 research brief said key findings included that “Waiving the no-show requirement for most appointments supports participation in the WIC program: the ‘no-show’ rate was reduced by 45%;” and “participants reported that they were receiving high quality consultations over the phone”.

Contact Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

WIC Director Renee Quallen explains how the newly hired dietitian will work remotely.

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