Board of Health

Board Duties

As established in Ohio law, the seven member Board of Health is our policy-making body with authority to adopt regulations and establish programs to promote public health within the district.

The Board has the authority to hire staff, develop programs, and is required to enforce specific sections of Ohio Revised Code and Rules of the Ohio Public Health Council.  The Board may make such orders as are necessary for its own government, for the public health, the prevention or restriction of diseases, and the abatement of nuisances.

Board Meetings

Business meetings of the Board are held once a month, while special meetings are called when necessary.  The usual meeting date is the second Friday of each month at 8:00 a.m.  Board meetings are open to the public and citizen input is encouraged.

Board Meetings for 2020

January 10, 2020
February 14, 2020
March 13, 2020
April 10, 2020
May 8, 2020
June 12, 2020
July 10, 2020
August 14, 2020
September 11, 2020
October 9, 2020
November 13, 2020
December 11, 2020

Dates are subject to change, contact the Health Department for confirmation.

Board of Health Statement on Vaccinations, March 23, 2017.

Meet our Board of Health Members:

Wilfred J.G. Ellis, MD, President

Current Term: January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2020

“Public health represents a distinct difference that separates our citizens from those of other counties where contaminated food and water, pestilence and serious illness are the rule.  Such does not take place in our community because we have an active public health system which oversees and intervenes when necessary.”

Dr. Ellis is a physician who has lived and practiced medicine in the City of Lima since 1990.  He specializes in infectious diseases and epidemiology. In addition to his private practice, he practices at five hospitals in the region. Born in Washington DC, he received his Bachelor‘s and Master’s degrees in Biology at the University of Dayton and his Medical Doctorate from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Dr. Ellis completed his residency in internal medicine at the Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan and pediatric residency at Michigan State University, followed by a fellowship in infectious disease at Brown University.  He also has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Ellis has been serving on the Board of Health since his original appointment in 1991 by the City of Lima.

Marva Cowan

Current Term: January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2024

“Public health should address health issues/disparities of all citizens.  Public policies should equally represent the population as a whole and not just a select few.  Being a public servant is humbling because there is the opportunity to act as a voice for the people without voices.”

Marva has a variety of experiences working in the community and has been an advocate around the issue of homelessness for many years. Marva received her Associate of Arts degree from Lima Technical College, a Bachelor of Science from University of Northwestern Ohio and has an MBA from Tiffin University.  A Lima resident, Marva was appointed to the Board by the City of Lima and has been serving on the Board of Health since 2010.

Eric Kerner, Vice President

Current Term: January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2022

“I believe public health is what sets us apart from all other parts of the world. Public health should always be regarded as a basic need of the community.  Without strong and consistent public health efforts, a community’s ability to remain a viable place to live and work is seriously compromised.”

Eric lives in Delphos, and is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at PPG Coatings Services in Lima. In his position, he oversees procedures and work systems which ensure the establishment and continuous improvement of a safe and healthy work environment for all employees as well as compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  He also oversees efforts for improving environmental sustainability and compliance.  He was appointed to the Board of Health by the City of Delphos and has served on the Board since 2008. Eric has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health from the University of Findlay.

Sherri Winegardner

Current Term: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2024

“Public Health is integral to the overall health of every individual.  Equitable access to clean air and water, healthy and safe nutrition, hygienic living conditions and basic health services provide the foundation for individuals’ health.  All citizens have an obligation in supporting public health activities for the betterment of the community.”

Sherri Winegardner is currently employed by Bluffton University as the Director of Nursing for the nursing program and a tenure-track associate professor since 2016.  She is a Registered Nurse who has practiced in various settings in healthcare and academic settings over the past 30 plus years, including direct patient care, nursing administration in community hospital and long-term and assisted living settings, and a Program Administrator at Brown Mackie College. Her career started at Lima Technical College with an associate degree in Nursing. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Bluffton College, a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the Medical College of Ohio, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Duquesne University.  Sherri also holds a Master of Health Administration Degree. Sherri is a lifelong Allen County resident and was appointed to the Board by the District Advisory Council in March 2019.

Ross Kauffman

Current Term: April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2021

“Public health is the interdisciplinary, evidence-based field that seeks to prevent disease, promote health, and achieve equity in populations. Public health brings together individuals with diverse skills to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing humanity as we strive to move everyone up the spectrum of health toward wellness.”

Ross is an Epidemiologist/Professor who works at Ohio Northern University (ONU) as an Assistant Professor and Director of Public Health.  At ONU, Ross teaches courses in Public Health and administers the public health program.  His research has focused on tobacco control efforts, with a current interest in developing virtual reality applications for use in education and research.  Ross has Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University and received an MPH with a specialization in Epidemiology and a PhD in Public Health from The Ohio State University. A resident of Bluffton, Ross was appointed to the Board in 2015 by the District Advisory Council.

Scott Shutt

Current Term: January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2021

“Public health is important to any community to ensure safety and promote quality of life.”

Scott Shutt is Vice President/General Manager of The Kewpee, Inc. and was appointed to the Board of Health by the Allen County Health District Licensing Council. The Health District Licensing Council consists of one representative of each business activity for which the Board of Health operates a licensing program. Scott lives in Bath Township.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio Norther University. He has served on the Board of Health since 2012.

Kevin Casey, DO

Current Term: May 10, 2019 – March 31, 2023

“Public Health is integral to any healthy, vibrant and successful community.  The measures taken to prevent disease and injury allow the members of the community to live their best lives.  There are few causes that are as important or as rewarding as helping people move towards wellness and health.”

Kevin has been with Mercy Health since 2015, where he currently serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for the Toledo Market.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Marietta College, graduated with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Ohio University, and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Kevin describes himself as a husband, a father, a person of faith, and a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician.  He and his wife live in Lima; both of their children graduated from Shawnee High School.  Their daughter is a Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy and their son attends Purdue University.  Dr. Casey is the physician appointee on the Board of Health, appointed by the other six Board members in May 2019.

Six of the seven Board members are appointed by the mayors, township trustees, and county commissioners of Allen County. The seventh member is appointed by the Health District Licensing Council.

Board Meeting Minutes

Board meeting minutes are available upon request.  To request a copy of our meeting minutes, call 419-228-4457.