Lake County Health Dept. Appoints Mark Pfister Executive Director

Mark Pfister, the new executive director for the Lake County Health Department officially took over Jan. 28. – LCHD

The Lake County Board of Health and Lake County Community Health Center Governing Council are announced that Mark Pfister has been appointed the new executive director for the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center (LCHD).

Pfister served as interim executive director since June 18, 2016.

As executive director, Pfister is responsible for leading more than 60 separately funded public health, behavioral health and medical programs performed at more than 20 locations in Lake County.  He oversees approximately 1,000 employees and the administration and preparation 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,” said Tim Sashko, president of the board of health.  “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’s wealth of experience includes:

  • Recently organizing and creating the “Together Summit,” a meeting of over 200 community partners to collectively address health issues identified in the Lake County Community Health Improvement Plan
  • Successfully leading and achieving accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board in 2016, in which the LCHD became one in approximately 100 local health departments that had achieved national accreditation
  • Revamping the LCHD’s strategic planning process, and reorganizing and centralizing quality improvement, organizational development, and assessment and planning
  • Restructuring the agency’s quality management system

Pfister has served in several roles at the LCHD:

  • From 1991 to 2005, he served as aquatic biologist and program 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 LCHD, he was an associate instructor/research assistant at the Indiana University Environmental Systems 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 from the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health.  He received a M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University at Bloomington and a B.A. in Biology, Psychology and Environmental Science from Augustana College.

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