Yesterday, Ohio’s largest left-wing blog Plunderbund published an article accusing the Kasich administration of making an illegal appointment. Following an article by John Michael Spinelli that blamed Republicans for Ed Fitzgerald being found by police in a secluded parking lot at 4:30 AM with a woman who is not his wife, they wrote this:
It’s unclear if Kasich and his advisers are completely incompetent or so arrogant they think they don’t need to follow Ohio’s laws. Either way, they just announced another illegal cabinet appointment.
On Friday afternoon Kasich released a statement saying he was going to appoint Rick Hodges as Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Hodges, a former lawmaker, currently leads the Ohio Turnpike Commission. Hodges will be replacing Dr. Ted Wymyslo… and that “Dr.” part is kind of important.
According to Ohio Revised Code 121.10:
The director of health shall be either:
(A) A physician holding the degree of doctor of medicine from a medical college approved by the state medical board who, before assuming his duties, has been licensed to practice medicine in the state and who has had experience in pursuing some phase of medical practice;
(B) An individual who has had significant experience in the public health profession.
Plunderbund lists several positions that Rick Hodges, a former state representative, has held in the past, based solely off of his LinkedIn profile. Based on that, they conclude that the appointment does not conform with state law.
His LinkedIn profile doesn’t tell the whole story, however. We have obtained Hodges’ resume (I deleted his contact info for privacy’s sake.) Among many top management positions he has held, are two jobs in the area of public health.
1994-1998 Fulton County Health Center Wauseon, OH
Director of Planning and Marketing
- Staff leader responsible for identifying and implementing strategies to deliver community based healthcare initiatives including occupational medicine and wellness programs. Implemented strategic plan that increased utilization and customer service scores for key services by introducing patient centered care concepts.
- Worked on leadership team to create community based injury prevention programs.
- Served on leadership team for joint commission and national cancer center accreditation.
- Served on leadership team for physician recruitment as part of womens health initiative.
1994-1998 Community Hospitals of Williams County Bryan, OH
Director (While in the legislature)
- Staff leader for an association of self insured public and private employers representing 35,000 covered lives. The association was organized for the purpose of coordinating healthcare, employee benefits, healthcare information technology and occupational medicine programs.
- Tripled the size of the Association and provider network.
- Expanded the provider network to include centers of excellence around the country.
- Increased savings for consumers and providers by 25% with visionary, “first of their kind” cooperative programs including early capitated payment plans.
- Introduced workplace safety programs that cut injury rates and slashed premiums.
- Implemented patient center care initiatives to improve data and decision making and cut costs in the healthcare delivery process.
While in the legislature, Hodges also served on the Health and Retirement Committee. He “sponsored legislation to expand the scope of practice for Advanced Practice Nurses and co-sponsored legislation and served on various subcommittees dealing with pharmaceutical distribution and classification practices.”
I would call that experience in public health…significant. It hasn’t been his entire career, but that isn’t necessary. Richard Hodges appears to have a solid, competent history in managing large organizations, including in the public health arena.
The folks at Plunderbund are Democrats, so we expect them to criticize a Republican governor. Unfortunately for them, their candidate has exhibited incompetence from the very beginning of his campaign, and they need to try to discredit Governor Kasich whenever they feel they have an opportunity. This time, however, it doesn’t measure up. Hodges meets the requirements for the position.