City Board of Health congratulates former Environmental Director, look for new one

PORTSMOUTH — When he leaves the Portsmouth City Health Department, Andy Gedeon will continue serving the city but his co-workers say he will be missed.

The news was delivered during the city Board of Health Zoom meeting Wednesday night, where a resolution celebrating the former Environmental health director for his service.

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” said Health Commissioner Chris Smith, Gedeon being his first hire. “When we came on, there was a lot of distrust between the city and the health department. Ten years later, we have an excellent working relationship with the city and most of that is thanks to the hard work of Andy.”

Board member and executive vice president at Hill View Retirement Community Dr. Timothy Angel worked with Gedeon in Ross County at the time and recommended he take the position in Portsmouth.

“I think it was an excellent move for the city,” the former Ross County Health Commissioner said of the hire.

Before his hire, Smith said the relationship was testy enough for budget cuts to PCHD’s to be considered. Varying projects where Gedeon played in a role in- land reutilization, working with the police department, code enforcement, and even answering dog calls in the middle of the night- were able to mend those ties.

Now working with the city, Gedeon will join the code enforcement office currently led by Portsmouth Police Department Officer Tiffany Hedrick and take many of his duties with him.

“I feel like we’re not losing an employee,” said Smith, the department taking on many different roles in the earlier stages of the fiscal watch. “We’ll continue to be a partner with him, so I think this is a win for everybody.”

Gedeon spoke on his new role during Saturday’s city organizational meeting at Shawnee State University, hoping a larger staff could alleviate the issues surrounding code enforcement. His work with land reutilization will also move with him to the Engineer Office.

“We have all these different people doing different things and with my duties currently at the health department, it doesn’t allow me too much time deal with code enforcement,” he said, set to start work in March.

Now looking for a new Environmental health director, Smith said Gedeon’s replacement will need to handle the evolving world of public health.

“This is an opportunity to hire someone with those new skills in mind and to have someone willing to accept the challenge,” he said, such skills as accreditation mentioned. “As Andy can tell you, it’s always been a challenging job with just the traditional duties. Accreditation is a whole new world for us.”

Gedeon will be receiving a framed resolution for his work and thanked the board along with Smith and Angel who he has spent a considerable of time within his career during his Environmental Health report.

“It’s been very educational, and I have enjoyed it tremendously,” he said. “After 20 years in public health though, it’s time for me to move on.”

Now former Portsmouth City Environmental Health Director Andy Gedeon (left) discussed his new role during the Feb. 20 city organizational meeting. Photo by Patrick Keck.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

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