Two long-serving individuals within the Iroquois County Public Health Department are retiring this month.
“The Iroquois County Public Health Department extends best wishes to two of their own, who have served the residents of Iroquois County well for several decades. Judy Cultra and Terry Eimen both retire from public health service in June,” ICPHD Administrator Dee Schippert.
Cultra, a registered nurse, began her career as a public health staff nurse in June of 1992.
Schippert said, “During the past 27 years, Judy has been a tremendous asset to Iroquois County residents through her expertise in the prevention and control of communicable diseases, vaccine administration, lead screenings, blood pressure screenings, and numerous other public health services. She has provided countless medical screenings or tuberculosis skin tests to Iroquois County residents.
“Just imagine the number of immunizations and flu vaccines she has given to both children and adults during her 27 years of quality care. Judy has touched many lives. Her positive attitude at ICPHD has been contagious, and she always served with kindness and compassion for others.”
Cultra’s last day was June 7.
Eimen has been in public health service for 32 years. He’s currently the director of environmental health. He’s retiring June 24 to spend more time with his family.
Eimen talked about starting with the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department, and programs he was involved with there; and then when Iroquois County started its own public health department, there was great expansion.
Matters such as lead, radon, West Nile, Smoke Free Illinois, and food safety have all greatly grown in public health services. In fact, there’s two full time and two part time individuals in environmental services.
Eimen who was born and raised, and still resides, in Gilman said he feels he’s gotten along really well with everyone he’s come in contact with. “I’ve liked working with the people. I look at the job as sort of an advisor rather than regulator.”
In doing this, he said, he’s gotten a lot of voluntary compliance from people. “There’s a problem; I tell people how to correct the problem.”
Something he’s very proud of accomplishing is getting better standards in well safety.
“In ’89-90 we took the well program from the state. We sealed thousands of wells in Iroquois County. That was the greatest risk of contaminating our aquifers. An abandoned well is a straight shot into an aquifer.” He said well drillers and the soil and water district have played a large roll in getting this done, too.
Schippert said of Eimen, “During his 32 years of public health service, Terry has been a key part of the comprehensive public health system. Terry has worked diligently to advance policies, ordinances and programs to reduce chemical, biological and environmental exposures in water, soil, air, and food. The residents of Iroquois County are able to drink safe water, eat safe food at a restaurant or school, and are assured of properly disposed sewage without worry of illness because Terry has worked behind the scenes to keep these activities safe.
“There is no way to measure the number of food-borne outbreaks, illnesses or communicable diseases that Terry has prevented or controlled in our jurisdiction through activities such as: food establishment inspections, private sewage disposal inspections, well inspections, water sampling, radon testing, vector control measures, nuisance complaint investigations and numerous other environmental health services.
“Terry has spent the past 32 years making sure that Iroquois County residents are provided with a safe environment to foster a healthy community. He has served the citizens of Iroquois County well for more than three decades.”
“Judy and Terry have been valuable members of our team and the Iroquois County Public Health Department is grateful for their hard work and devotion to the health and safety of Iroquois County residents,” added Schippert. “We, at ICPHD, are extremely fortunate and blessed to have worked alongside these two dedicated individuals. Their careers have been focused on improving the lives and health of others. Both will be missed tremendously.”