Board of health

History of Board of Health

In the late nineteenth century, the Ohio government required any city or village with a population of more than five hundred people to establish a local board of health. This board would monitor the community’s health conditions. A local health officer was to inspect privies, register births and deaths, and quarantine people suffering from infectious diseases, among other duties. The Putnam County Board of Health’s first meeting was January 12, 1920. Dr. C.W. Fogle was the Board of Health’s first president. Other members of the first Board included B.A. Unverferth, Dr. C.E.Bird, Joseph H. Schuerman, and Dr. J.D. Watterson.

Fast forward to today, the Putnam County Health Department, governed by the Putnam County Board Health, continues to provide services to protect and promote the health of the community by preventing the spread of disease, protecting the environment and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Who selects the Board of Health?

The Putnam County District Advisory Council, made up of the chairman of each township, mayors of each village, and a county commissioner, appoint the Putnam County Board of Health members, who serve for five-year terms. The District Advisory Council meets on the first Monday of March each year to appoint a Board of Health member. The Board of Health must have the following represented:

•One physician•Four at-large members

The health department’s annual report is provided and an update of health department activities is presented at District Advisory Council meeting in March each year.

Responsibilities of the Board of Health

State law requires the board to report and take measures to control disease, enforce state public health laws and promote health and well-being within the health district. The board is also responsible for the department’s budget and hiring a health commissioner. The Board of Health members must earn two hours of continuing education each year.

Board of Health Members

President: Mr. Kyle Stechschulte (term expires 2026)
Vice President: Mr. Joe Burkhart (term expires 2027)
Mary Kay Verhoff (term expires 2028)
Mr. Cory Unverferth (term expires 2024)
Dr. Kent Brandeberry (term expires 2025)

Dr. Jacinta Eickholt-  Medical Director

The regular Board of Health meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.  All meetings are held at the Putnam County Health Department, 256 Williamstown Road, Ottawa, Ohio, unless otherwise noted.

Ohio Revised Code

The Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3709 refers to the roles and responsibilities of the local Board of Health. Ohio Revised Code3701.342 discusses the standards of a board of health and local health department.

Chapter 3709: Health Districts

3709.22 Duties of board of city or general health district

3701.342 Minimum standards and optimum achievable standards for boards of health and local health departments