Steubenville’s new health commissioner named today

STEUBENVILLE – Shaleeta A. Smith of Wintersville was introduced today as the new city health commissioner.

Mayor Dominick Mucci, president of the health board, made the announcement this morning during a press conference at City Hall.

Smith was one of several candidates to apply for the position after Patty Reda retired as health commissioner last month after a 21-year career as health commissioner.

Smith has a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology from the University of Toledo. She also received a bachelor’s of science in biology with a minor in chemistry from Toledo.

“As a recent graduate student from the University of Toledo, I have learned how to apply the knowledge I have obtained through my studies and inquiries to disease states, pathologies and health promotion in real work settings and situations,” Smith told the health board during the search for a new health commissioner.

“As an intern in the infection control department at the University of Toledo Medical Center, I learned how to utilize my researching skills to update protocols, and my health promotion skills to emphasize continuing education throughout the hospital. Through this internship I expanded my knowledge regarding the forms of health promotion in the community, prevention efforts from a federal, state and local level and my understanding and ability to utilize epidemiology biostatical data and software,” continued Smith.

“The health commissioner position will assist me in furthering my understanding of the fundamental elements of public health, disease prevention and biostatical analysis,” Smith also told the board.

Smith has inherited a veteran staff in the city health department.

“I made the decision to retire because it is the right time. There are changes coming to public health and the field is going in a different direction. I felt it was the right time for a younger person to become health commissioner,” Reda said in a March interview.

“The board of health has interviewed candidates for the health commissioner’s job and I am writing down everything I know the new commissioner will need to know,” explained Reda.

“I will always remember the support I have received from my staff, the board of health, the city administration and the city council. I am also proud of the services we have offered the community and the community response to our clinics for children and adults,” she said.

“Leaving this job will be hard because the staff here has become like my family because we have been together for so many years. I have made so many friends during my career. And we have all kept the citizens of this community first in our hearts and have always tried to do our best for everyone in the community and to enhance the quality of life of our residents,” Reda noted prior to her retirement.