CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Board of Health has to fill two of its top jobs, instead of just one.
Dr. O'dell Owens, interim health commissioner, has decided to take a job as president and CEO of Interact for Health. He takes over as Jim Schwab retires in October; Schwab has been leading the region's largest health-focused foundation for more than five years.
Owens came to the Health Department as its medical director a year ago. Six months later, in March, Health Commissioner Dr. Noble Maseru announced his impending retirement after a decade on the job, and Owens became the department's interim leader.
But the process of hiring a permanent health director -- a job Owens applied for -- has dragged out for months. The uncertainty opened up the possibility of other options, he said in a news release from the health department.
"The presidency/CEO appointment at Interact will allow me to continue serving the community in the healthcare arena and further utilize my expertise in healthcare, public health and the non-profit community," Owens said.
Before joining the city, Owens was president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and Hamilton County coroner.
His departure in October means the Cincinnati Health Department will need to hire a new medical director in addition to a new health commissioner. The independent Board of Health is responsible for appointing the health department's employees.