MASON CITY — The head of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is spending his last week on the job after more than three decades working for the county.

Ron Osterholm started working for Cerro Gordo County in 1988 as an environmental health specialist and was named director of the county’s health department in 1990.

Osterholm says the department has been grown from not existing in 1990 to what it is today. “I submitted a proposal to the Board of Health and the Board of Supervisors. At that time, Tom Wishman the Human Resources and Finance Director, said that we probably needed to look at how we could consolidate the fragmentation of public health and health programs and bring them under unified public health. They thought it was a good idea, it was money saving. In 1990, the Board of Health and Board of Supervisors approved a process to move forward with the Health Department. We started in the basement of the courthouse with environmental services in 1988, and we grew out of the basement and then moved into Mohawk Square.”

Osterholm applauds the work his staff does for the county. “This has been a great career for me. I’ve really enjoyed being in this position and being able to do the things that have been done. At the same time, there’s a lot of good staff that exists here in the Health Department, and when you start looking at the staff that’s in this department, they’re pretty high qualified staff and they’re good at what they do. The department’s going to do quite well. When you have a very strong staff it makes sustainability so much better. It’s going to be in good hands.”

Osterholm made his comments during today’s “Ask the Mayor” program on AM-1300 KGLO. You can listen back to the program via the audio player below.

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