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Ironton woman honored with state award

 

Self-help author Robert Collier has said, “Constant repetition carries conviction.” That describes Lana Cherrington.

Cherrington has been a registered sanitarian for more than 20 years, and takes her work very seriously. Her service to the Ironton City Health Department after being hired in 2011 has been noticed. This fall she received an award from the Ohio Environmental Health Association for “Outstanding Sanitarian” for the southeast district, made up of 25 counties.

“I was so honored and humbled,” Cherrington said. “Any time your peers, those constituents you work with everyday, when they honor you, it’s extremely humbling.”

Cherrington received nominations from several colleagues.

“They have a picture of me smiling and I look like I just won the Ohio Lottery, or like I was in a toothpaste commercial,” she said. “I was just thrilled. It’s very rewarding and very humbling at the same time. It’s an indescribable feeling.”

Laura Brown, health commissioner, feels Cherrington is especially deserving of the award.

“She is an outstanding person,” Brown said. “She’s been in public health for years and brings a lot of knowledge to our city.”

Her duties as sanitarian are too numerous to list, but range from teaching food safety courses to inspecting restaurants, as well as handling consumer trash and nuisance complaints.

“She has brought our level of expectations for our restaurants up. They are cleaner and neater in the city limits,” Brown said. “She does an awesome job. I’m so very lucky to have her here in Ironton City. I feel very blessed.”

Cherrington said the best part about her job is the people with whom she interacts.

“Getting to know them, working with different individuals -that’s the reward of it. Helping people with their profession,” she said. “If they’re in food service, helping them do a good job and stay in business. I really like it on that level.”

She said there are a couple of challenging elements to the job.

“Staying on top of rule changes and law changes, and sometimes getting people to understand why you have to do things a certain way. I suppose that’s probably the most challenging,” she said. She added that the other tricky part is always being ready to drop what she is working on to handle the next urgent thing.

“You’re always on your toes,” she said.

Regardless of the challenges, Cherrington wouldn’t change what she does.

“I thoroughly enjoy my job,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed environmental health. It’s a job that’s constantly changing. It’s a challenge, but a good challenge.”

She said her job is very fulfilling.

“I enjoy working in Ironton and definitely enjoy the people,” she said. “I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship I have with the people of Ironton and working toward doing my job.”