POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Health Officer Dr. Curtis Pack is retiring after 18 years of service.
Dr. Pack will be ending his time as the health officer on June 30 of this year.
“It’s been a privilege to serve Mason County,” Pack said. “There’s 26,000 people — so to be responsible for their health for over the course of that period of time has really been a treat.”
Pack said during his 18 years at the department, he has witnessed many public health events.
“We’ve been through several things from power outages, derecho, terrorist attacks, chemical spills — a lot of things have happened,” Pack said. Pack also mentioned the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Pack said the county board of health is his “boss.” The board of health is made up of community members from all parts of the county, which Pack said gives input from different areas. Pack also said the board decides what is important for the health department to focus on.
Pack said the health department is involved in all areas of public health — including vaccinations, health exams, sanitation, restaurant inspections, fair inspections, etc.
“The most rewarding part is seeing things operate smoothly,” Pack said. “As long as we’re doing a good job, everything runs smoothly.”
Pack said the job has been rewarding to him and the obligation he had to the community is important.
Earlier this month, Mason County Commissioners approved hiring Dr. Wes Lieving to take Pack’s place as the health officer.
“The big advice is do your best job, follow your conscience and take care of your neighbors,” Pack said. “These are not just random people. These are the people we live with.”
Regarding COVID-19, Pack said that Mason County was fortunate for not getting as many cases as could have been expected.
“Medically, (COVID-19) is very interesting. Socially, it’s been a trial for our (residents),” Pack said. “We’ve shut down businesses and schools — that’s been a trial for everyone. It’s been a challenge.”
Pack also said that the state and county is still seeing more community-acquired cases of COVID-19 and they “have to really stay on top of it to keep it controlled.”
Pack said the county and state health departments have been able to “rise to the occasion” of challenges with COVID-19.
“I hope I’ve done a good job for the people of Mason County,” Pack said.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.