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Health & Fitness

West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes

10/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summit DD Board names John Trunk new superintendent

TALLMADGE — The Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (Summit DD) has named a successor for current Superintendent Thomas Armstrong, who will retire at the end of November.

The board selected John Trunk, current superintendent of the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, to serve as the agency’s top executive, according to Summit DD officials.

“After a thorough search and interview process, we are confident that John’s proven track record of success will help the agency continue to be the primary force that builds inclusive communities in Summit County,” stated Randy Briggs, board president. “The people we serve and the citizens of Summit County deserve an innovative leader that will maintain focus on Summit DD’s mission. We have found that in John.”

Trunk has more than 30 years of experience in the field, with the past 12 being at the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, according to Summit DD officials. He has also held leadership positions for Williams and Richland county boards of developmental disabilities.

“Summit DD has a remarkable reputation in the state,” said Trunk. “I am looking forward to understanding stakeholders’ needs and moving individuals toward self-advocacy to enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. The board’s commitment to services matches my personal commitment as well.”

According to Summit DD officials, as superintendent of Lucas County, Trunk expanded its waiver services to maximize local funding sources, worked to increase community-based residential options and implemented operational cost-saving measures that reduced costs for adult day programs, among several other accomplishments. Lucas County supports more than 4,000 adults and children with developmental disabilities with 570 full-time-equivalent employees, comparable to Summit County, according to Summit DD officials.

The board continues to finalize the details of the contract, however, it has reached an agreement in principle, according to Summit DD officials.

“The board is committed to ensuring a smooth transition for both Summit and Lucas counties, and we’re working with Tom (Armstrong) to make sure that happens,” stated Briggs. “During his tenure, Tom has accomplished tremendous outcomes for citizens of all abilities, and we’re grateful that he will make this transition seamless.”

More information regarding the agency is available online at www.summitdd.org.

Local physicians encourage pneumococcal vaccination

AKRON — In an effort to improve pneumococcal vaccination rates among cardiac patients, the Northeast Ohio Cardiovascular Specialists (NEOCS), Ritzman Pharmacy, Walgreens and the American Heart Association have joined together with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) to make sure heart patients receive a pneumococcal vaccine that can help protect them from an infection called pneumococcal disease.

The initiative is being led by Dr. Thomas File Jr., chairman of the infectious disease division at Summa Health System and president of NFID, and NEOCS Corporate Executive Board Co-Chairman Dr. William Bauman.

While the infection can be serious for anyone, those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for complications, according to NFID officials. For people with heart disease, these complications can include heart attacks.

The vaccination is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for any adult with heart disease.

Through an ongoing program, the NEOCS is encouraging all heart patients to visit a local Ritzman Pharmacy or Walgreens to receive their vaccination.

File said this program can serve as a model to help improve vaccination rates in other cities around the country.

Pneumococcal vaccination is also recommended for people 18 and older with other underlying conditions — such as diabetes and asthma — and for everyone 65 and older. For more information, talk with your health care provider or pharmacist or visit nfid.org/pneumococcal.

Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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