Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Interim Commissioner Tom Bates has appointed Dr. Edd Rhoades as Chief Medical Officer for the agency. Dr. Rhoades has been with the agency for 40 years and is currently serving as the Medical Director for Family Health Services.
“Dr. Rhoades has served the state and this agency with integrity in a number of key positions over the years and it is appropriate that he should be the first person to fill this important role,” said Commissioner Bates. “The establishment of a Chief Medical Officer aligns with the public health structure of many other states and will provide guidance to our core mission.”
The Oklahoma State Board of Health approved creation of the position at their Sept. 14 meeting, following a recommendation that was included in a corrective action plan provided to the legislature in January. The Chief Medical Officer will advise agency leadership on medical and public health issues and provide medical oversight and consultation to agency service areas and county health departments. Under the current organizational structure, the Office of the Commissioner continues to focus on improving the financial operation and organization of the agency to ensure efficient delivery of core services.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Dr. Rhoades also holds a Masters of Public Health in Health Administration from the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and has received numerous awards for his work in maternal and child health and environmental protection. Among his honors are the Joan K. Leavitt, M.D. Award from the Oklahoma Public Health Association and the Mike Synar Environmental Excellence Award.
“I’m looking forward to working with Commissioner Bates and the senior leadership team to provide guidance for the agency as we continue to focus on issues that will improve the health of all Oklahomans,” said Dr. Rhoades. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to share my experiences and promote the great work being done by all of our public health professionals.