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Ironton Health Board member retires after 28 years

Longtime Ironton Board of Health member Patti Rice retired from the city health department in January after 28 years, but a celebration took place Tuesday evening at the Ironton City Center.

“I was appointed to the board in 1990 by then Ironton Mayor Jim Tordiff. When I was appointed, they originally wanted my father, but he was too ill at the time to accept,” Rice said. “But I’ve always had an interest in public health and I probably always will.”

She said that the reason she is retiring is because of her health, adding that she has been living with Early Onset Parkinson’s disease for the past 20 years.

“I’m what you’d call a ‘long-term Parkinson’s survivor,’” she said. “But I’m just trying to stay as healthy as I can, for as long as I can.”

Rice added that she’s lived all of her life in the same block of Ironton, and is proud to have worked with numerous mayors throughout her time on the city board of health.

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith presented Rice with a Recognition of Appreciation, and said that Rice left an impact on the Ironton Health Department.

“It is with great pleasure as the mayor of the City of Ironton, state of Ohio, to recognize outstanding acts of service. Mrs. Patti Rice was appointed to the Ironton Board of Health in 1990, and Mrs. Patti Rice has faithfully served the community for 28 years,” Keith’s recognition states. “Ms. Patti Rice has a passion for public health and has committed her time helping strengthen the Ironton City Health Department, and I, Katrina Keith, mayor of the City of Ironton, Ohio, do hereby recognize and honor Mrs. Patti Rice for her dedication to the public health needs of our community.”

Keith said Rice’s passion was what made her stand out at the Ironton Health Department.

“No one on that board had more passion for public health than Patti,” she said. “We truly appreciate what she’s done for this health department and the residents of our town.”

Laura Brown, director of the Ironton Health Department, also said that Rice will be missed at the department.

“I’ve worked with Patty for eight years. She’s been the rock for the board of health,” Brown said. “She’s a great person who’s dedicated and passionate about public health, and we’re sad to see her go.”