Dr. Edd Rhoades, Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Chief Medical Officer has announced his retirement after 41 years of service at the agency. Rhoades will leave OSDH on January 1, 2020. He has been the chief medical officer since October of 2018.
Rhoades began his career at OSDH in 1978 as the director of the pediatric division of the Maternal and Child Health Service and has served in a variety of positions thorough the years, including deputy commissioner for Family Health Services, and State Health Officer.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, 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, most recently being named as the 2018 Ray E. Helfer, MD, Award Winner by the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.
“Dr. Rhoades has served the state and this agency with integrity in a number of key positions over the years and everyone in the state should appreciate the service he has provided to children and families during his tenure,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Tom Bates. “His willingness to serve as Chief Medical Officer during a time of transition at the agency has helped establish a blueprint on what the position can provide to advance our mission.”
“I have been privileged to be part of a number of public health initiatives to improve the health of Oklahomans such as newborn screening, child abuse prevention and immunizations,” Rhoades said. “The most rewarding part of my work has been being part of a team of public health professionals, partner agencies and organizations that come together to plan, develop and implement programs and initiatives to improve the health of Oklahoma’s children, families and the citizens.”
The Chief Medical Officer advises agency leadership on medical and public health issues and provides medical oversight and consultation to agency service areas and county health departments to advance the core mission of OSDH. The process to find a successor to Rhoades will begin immediately with a nationwide search. The agency will seek medical and public health experts from outside of OSDH to assist in the search.