Dick Wittberg, PhD and executive director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has resigned, with sources at the agency indicating Wittberg resigned under duress.|
The agency will soon be posting the position.
The regional health agency covers six counties, including Calhoun.
The Calhoun Commission and Wittberg have locked horns several times over a continuing reduction of services to Calhoun, challenging the agency to advise how much money from the six-county budget was being spent in the county.
In 2006, Wittberg recommended that Calhoun still have office space in Calhoun, but would not have it staffed. Providers of service would float to the office on a scheduled basis from Parkersburg.
Another time, the office was being been shut down to one or two days a week.
In a 2006 news story on the Hur Herald, commissioner Bob Weaver called that unacceptable, and asked Wittberg to capitate what funding should come to Calhoun.
Weaver told Wittberg, "The list among other agencies is long on pull-outs from Calhoun, because of the small population and poor economic conditions...using some kind of economies-of-scale model that keeps giving us the short end of the stick."
Calhoun's longtime health department board member, Bill Shock, said at that time, "I will continue to advocate for services for Calhoun and rural counties."
The MOVHD took a stance that it is serving a region, and declined to define what services should be specific for Calhoun.
Wittberg, over a period of time, has proposed that all clinical services be cut at the office related to low utilization.
A survey indicated that Calhoun citizens were not aware of the services being provided.
More recently complaints have been filed regarding the availability of the services of an available sanitarian, particularly related to septic services.
In 2010 the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department was awarded a $4.5 million prevention grant from federal stimulus money to help improve a healthy life-style in the regional counties.
Currently, the local department is open four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, including the delivery of low-cost clinical services on Tuesday.
See MOV HEALTH DEPARTMENT CONSIDERING CALHOUN CUTBACKS
COMMISSION DISPUTES CALHOUN'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS "INCREASED SERVICES"