Back in 2014 John Kasich appointed Rick Hodges to lead the Ohio Department of Health. Hodges had previously served as Kasich’s director for the Ohio Turnpike Commission. And before that he held a number of different lobbying and government jobs. What Hodges didn’t have, however, was a medical degree or any sort of background in public health, something required to hold the position of ODH Director.
According to Ohio law, the state health director needs to be “a physician holding the degree of doctor of medicine” or at least someone who has “significant experience in the public health profession.” When Plunderbund and others pointed this out, Hodges quickly altered his online resume to pretend he had the required experience. (yeah, we caught him making the changes – rookie move Rick)
After a lot of bad press and negative feedback, the Kasich administration ended up creating a new position at ODH called “Medical Director” to compensate for Hodge’s lack of experience in the medical field. And they appointed Dr. Mary DiOrio to fill the position. With both a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health, DiOrio had the required experience lacking by Hodges, and a whole lot more..
While DiOrio’s appointment seemed to quell concerns about Hodges’ inexperience in public health and his lack of a degree in medicine, it didn’t change the fact that the appointment of Hodges was still illegal under Ohio law.
Which brings us to today’s breaking news: Mary DiOrio resigned as of December 30th, 2016 leaving (illegal and unqualified) Hodges without a qualified medical professional to back him up as medical director.
According to her out-of-office email message Dr. DiOrio “will no longer be at the Ohio Department of Health” as of December 30th since she has left and “taken another position.”
But hey, no worries Ohio, Hodges’ experience with “the home building industry” and “a Realtor association” and with “event planning” will be very useful when Ebola and the Zika virus hit out state.