New Ohio Health Director's Background Questioned

By
Associated Press

Dateline
Updated Tue, Aug 5, 2014 5:58 pm

The governor's Democratic challenger is among those raising questions about the qualifications of the man tapped to lead the Ohio Department of Health.

Gov. John Kasich picked the state's turnpike commission director Rick Hodges to head the health department, saying he has proven management skills. Hodges is a former state lawmaker and not a doctor.

But Kasich also named public health clinician Dr. Mary Applegate as the agency's interim medical director and said she'll support Hodges by focusing on medical issues.

A hospital organization and state medical group have praised the pairing.

An abortion rights group has criticized the pick, pointing to state requirements that say the director should have "significant experience in the public health profession."

Democratic candidate Ed FitzGerald has called on Kasich to withdraw Hodges' nomination.

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