Pharos-Tribune

August 19, 2013

New health officer settling in

Stukey seven weeks into Cass Co. position.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Dr. R. John Stukey is seven weeks into his position as the Cass County Health Officer after Dr. Cherie Bennett left the post in June.

As health officer, Stukey works with the health department’s office administrator in their health oversight of the county by applying his medical knowledge to the areas of personnel, disaster planning, disease trends and ensuring people are getting inoculations, he said.

“The main, day-to-day operations are done by the administrator, but there has to be a physician that oversees the operation,” Stukey said.

For the last year, Stukey has been employed at Novia CareClinic in Logansport, which serves Cass County’s employees and their dependents. He said Cass County Commissioner Jim Sailors encouraged him to consider putting himself in the running for the position.

“I thought it was an opportunity to serve the local community and become involved in my own way,” Stukey said.

Stukey received his undergraduate degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, before going on to Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Fla.

Throughout his career, Stukey has worked in the areas of urgent care, administrative medicine and public health.

He served in the U.S. Army for nine years, including time in Iraq. He also formerly worked for Emergency Medicine of Indiana, an emergency group at Dukes Memorial Hospital in Peru.

Bob Vernon, office administrator at the Cass County Health Department, said it was important to find Bennett’s replacement, as the health officer position is required to be filled by law.

“By law there has to be a doctor who’s pretty much the figurehead of the health department,” he said.

He said he enjoys working with Stukey.

“I’m happy with him,” he said.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.