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Pfister appointed executive director of Lake County health department

Published: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 10:51 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 10:52 a.m. CDT

Mark Pfister has been appointed the new executive director of the Lake County Department of Health and Lake County Community Health Center, according to a news release from the county health board. Pfister has been serving as interim executivec director since June 18. He became full-time director on Jan. 28. 

As executive director, Pfister is responsible for leading more than 60 public health, behavioral health and medical programs performed at more than 20 locations in Lake County, according to the news release. He oversees about 1,000 employees and the administration of the department’s $70 million budget.

“Mr. Pfister has built an outstanding track record over the 26 years he has served at the Health Department,” Board of Health president Tim Sashko said in the news release. “He has demonstrated strong skills in strategic leadership and fiscal management. He is passionate about Lake County and has a clear-eyed vision for reaching our goal to achieve the highest level of health for all in the county. The Board of Health has complete faith in his vision, having worked closely with him for so many years.” 

Pfister recently organized and created the “Together Summit,” a meeting of more than 200 community partners to collectively address health issues identified in the Lake County Community Health Improvement Plan.

Over the years, Pfister has served in several roles at the Health Department. From 1991 to 2005, he served as aquatic biologist andprogram coordinator of the Lakes Management Unit (now known as Ecological Services), which works to protect the county’s lakes. From 2005 to 2009, he served as the associate director of Environmental Health Services, where he directly supervised seven programs. In 2009, he became the interim director of Environmental Health Services, where he managed 70 staff and a $5.6 million budget. He was named director of Prevention and Population Health Services in 2010, where he was responsible for the management of 25 programs and 232 staff.

Prior to serving at the Health Department, he was an associate instructor/research assistant at the Indiana University EnvironmentalSystems Application Center. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa, in the late 1980s.

Pfister is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) from the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health. He received an M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University at Bloomington and a B.A. in Biology, Psychology and EnvironmentalScience from Augustana College.

Established by referendum in 1956, the Lake County Health Department is a state-certified, nationally accredited public health department responsiblefor the prevention of disease and disability, the promotion of health and themaintenance of a healthful environment. The Health Department’s CommunityHealth Center provides comprehensive, patient-centered medical, dental andbehavioral health care to adults and children at nine locations. 

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