POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department has a new health commissioner as Marcus “Marc” Barr took over the position in September.
Barr, a Meigs County native, will be at the health department on a part-time basis while also being employed as an exercise physiology instructor at Ohio University.
As the health commissioner, Barr is the secretary of the Board of Health and devotes such time to the duties of his office as fixed by contract with the board. He is charged with the enforcement of all sanitary laws and regulations in the county. In his position, Barr is to keep the public informed in regard to all matters affecting the health of the district.
The health commissioner is responsible for approving the administration of all aspects of the public health programs. He will work closely with other personnel approving insight to the need, feasibility, planning, and programming of all existing and proposed programs and services affecting the health department. He will assist with assessments of the health care needs of the county and help plan programs according to established priorities.
Barr will collaborate with representatives of various specialized groups in the community; be involved with response during public health emergencies (Barr has board authority to take action in time of public health emergencies); and be the Child Fatality Review Board chair. In conjunction with the administrator, Barr will make recommendations to the board to include hiring and firing of personnel, salary schedules and other personnel matters.
Current focuses for the new health commissioner and the health department include the upcoming levy and flu season.
Per the Ohio Revised Code, the health department board shall appoint a health commissioner upon such terms, and for such period of time, not exceeding five years, as may be prescribed by the board.
The person appointed as commissioner shall be a licensed physician, licensed dentist, a licensed veterinarian, licensed podiatrist, licensed chiropractor, or the holder of a master’s degree in public health or an equivalent master’s degree in a related health field as determined by the members of the board of health in a general health district.
Barr holds a master of science and bachelor of science degrees in physiology of exercise from Ohio University.
Barr serves on several committees at OU and has an impressive record of certifications and trainings. Earlier this year, he received the CHSP Innovative Teaching Award. He has co-authored numerous grants for OU, and is also a published co-author of research, an experienced presenter and manuscript reviewer.
Barr is a native of Meigs County and a graduate of Meigs High School. He resides in Hemlock Grove with his wife, Samantha, and two daughters. Barr is the current president/treasurer of the Chester Bow Hunters’ Club and volunteers his time as a National Archery in the Schools program instructor to teach local school shooters proper shooting technique.
At this time, Barr is employed by the board for four hours per week. Barr is assisted by a full-time health department management team including Administrator Courtney Midkiff, Director of Nursing Leanne Cunningham, Director of Environmental Health Steve Swatzel, and Fiscal Officer Sharon Buchanan. Buchanan is the executive officer of the board and carries out all orders of the board and of the Ohio Department of Health.