Butler County names new health commissioner

Erik Balster is the new health commissioner for the Butler County General Health District. PHOTO CREDIT: WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY
Caption
Erik Balster is the new health commissioner for the Butler County General Health District. PHOTO CREDIT: WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY

Credit: Provided/Wright State University

Credit: Provided/Wright State University

Butler County’s newest health commissioner will leave a similar position in Preble County.

The Butler County Board of Health recently voted to appoint Erik Balster as the Butler County Health Commissioner beginning Nov. 29. He succeeds Jennifer Bailer, who retired at the end of August. Dr. Michelle Burch, a pediatrician and medical director for the health district, has been the interim commissioner since Bailer left.

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“We are enthusiastic about starting this next chapter with Erik leading the health district out of the pandemic,” said Leon Simpson, president of the Butler County Board of Health. “Public health officials throughout the state speak high praise for Erik and we look forward to him bringing his experience to Butler County.”

Balster began his career as an epidemiological investigator at the Ohio Department of Health. He then served as a registered sanitarian and emergency response coordinator at the Warren County Health Department. He’s been the Preble County health commissioner since 2013, and was elected president of the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners in 2020.

Balster is a graduate of the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and earned a master’s in public health from Wright State University.

“I am really excited to work with the staff,” he said. “As we come out of the COVID 19 pandemic, I’m eager to work on modernizing public health with a focus on how technology can better serve the community and improve health outcomes.”

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