Ford health agency leader hired

GIBSON CITY — Paxton resident Lana Sample has been hired as interim administrator of the Ford County Public Health Department, 11 weeks before it starts operation.

Sample has been working since October as a senior information specialist at the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department's office in Paxton.

Mike Short, president of the Ford County Public Health Department board, said Sample was "the best fit for the health department" among the two candidates interviewed.

Sample, 36, starts her new job July 1, the date the new agency is officially created and the bi-county health department is dissolved.

Sample will receive a salary of $50,000 under her initial one-year contract, Short said. Because she does not have the required certification from the Illinois Department of Public Health to be a public health administrator, the agency is expected to hire another employee to oversee and guide her work until she can get certified.

Short said the person overseeing Sample's work will "sign off on what she's doing is correct" while also serving as a mentor.

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