A retired surgeon from Effingham County has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Ford-Iroquois Department of Public Health Board.
At a special meeting of the Iroquois County Board (Tuesday), Dr. Ted Fifer was approved on a 9-7 vote to fill a vacancy for an Iroquois County position on the eight-person health board.
The health board is made up of four appointed people from each of the counties, representing Ford and Iroquois.
Iroquois County has been short one person, representing a medical background, since the Iroquois County Board approved the firing of past members for what was considered alleged "neglect of duty." Since then, two positions were filled by new appointees and Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas appointed himself to the third of four seats. What had been lacking was a person with a medical background.
Following his appointment Tuesday, Dr. Fifer said he hopes to fill a void. Fifer said we asked by Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas to get acquainted with some of the problems the locals were having with the health department.
"Between his (Copas) request and my understanding on what's going on, it seemed I could do some good," Fifer said. The doctor said he has no other interests or connections to Iroquois County.
Reports last week, indicated two doctors had expressed interest in the health board vacancy. A second name was never publicly mentioned before the County Board went into executive session before Fifer was appointed.
The 8-person health board, now balanced, met in Gilman Tuesday night for regular business. A scheduled meeting two weeks ago didn't happen due to a lack of a quorum. The Iroquois County members did not show up at the meeting.
Tuesday's regular business however, resulted in closed sessions and then a 5-3 vote by the health board to buy-out health department administrator Doug Corbett's contract.
The Iroquois and Ford County Boards have been at odds over the position of Corbett. The Iroquois County Board voted to have Corbett removed. The Ford County Board has stated there's no merit for Corbett's removal.
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