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DISTRICT VII HEALTH SAYS THANK YOU 10-27-14

Eastern Idaho Public Health Director Geri Rackow brought a contingency of staff members from the Idaho Falls and Lemhi County Public Health offices to the October 27 meeting of the Lemhi County Commissioners where they delivered the agency’s annual report. They also brought commendations to Lemhi County’s long time Public Health representative.

Rackow’s first order of business was to thank Commissioner Chairman Bob Cope for his many years of service on the District VII Board of Health. Rackow said, “We have enjoyed having Cope on our board. He’s been an integral part of the board since 2001 and chairman since 2009 and it’s going to be a huge void when he leaves us next year.” She said that as a veterinarian Cope brought a very unique perspective to the board and it will not be the same without him. “I just wanted you to know how much we appreciated you…your participation, engagement and just the leadership that you brought.” Cope replied, “It’s actually been fun.”

Gary Rillema added his praises by saying with his background Cope has an understanding of the scope of group public health which, as the district’s Director of Family and Community Health, Rillema especially appreciated.

Cope thanked them for their acknowledgment and said, “I have been really disappointed statewide and nationwide at the lack of veterinary involvement because it’s something you never see and the fact that the education, the experience…veterinarians generally, actually bring more to the table in the field of public health than most physicians, unless they specialize in public health.” Rillema said Cope’s participation over the past 13 years has been invaluable to the Board of Health. He said Cope’s has been one of the few voices speaking towards the big picture.

Cope is retiring from the Lemhi County Board of Commissioners at the end of December. A new representative to serve on the Eastern Idaho Public Health Board will be selected in January 2015.


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