Longtime Summit County Health Department employee retires
After 25 years of service, longtime Summit County Health Department Health Promotions Director Geri Essen announced her retirement.
“Geri arrived with no programs in place and very limited resources as the first Health Educator for Summit County,” said Rich Bullough, Health Department Director. “She’s worked behind the scenes to almost single-handedly build our health promotions program.”
Over the course of her employment, Essen has implemented a number of health programs and initiatives for county employees and residents, many of which are self-funded through grants. These programs include: mental health promotion, injury prevention, tobacco education and suicide prevention, among others.
Her programs have featured thousands of participants:
- Injury prevention: 2,617 participants
- Nutrition programs: 2,569 participants
- Physical activity school trainings: 6 schools trained
- Tobacco education: 43 retailers educated and inspected, 400-plus at e-cigarette training
- Diabetes prevention: three trainings with 31 participants
- Suicide prevention: 300-plus participants
“In addition to building up these programs, Geri has also developed strong partnerships in the community with schools and work sites,” Bullough said. “She leaves behind some big shoes to fill, but Geri has also hired a really great staff to move forward with what she’s established.”
Essen plans to spend her time with her family after retirement on Oct. 21. The Health Department will begin the hiring process for her replacement before the end of October.
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