Gilman right for health board

To the editor:

Since 2019, all five of the seats on the Jefferson County Board of Health have been vacated at some point. Some of the seats have even changed more than once.

Yet, in our recent appointments, there are no women to represent public health on that board. The health board makes critical decisions for Steubenville and all of Jefferson County. Those choices and decisions determine the policy for all of us. Women account for more than half of our county’s population. We need a voice on that board. Where are the checks and balances to speak for women?

The health commissioner and medical director are both men. The top seven spots have all been put in place since 2019 and not a single one of them is female. I can’t imagine that there have not been any qualified women applying for any of those roles. Right now, we have a chance to add an exceptional woman, Dr. Rachel Gilman, to the board of health, as the Ohio Revised Code defines that the board should have a physician and the board should also reflect the county.

Does 100 percent men reflect our county? I have been a patient of hers for many years and have come to respect and admire her both as a person and a medical professional. Gilman has a long history of service to the poor, dedication to the animals, has volunteered in the past for the accreditation process of the health department and is a passionate advocate for child and maternal health.

I have visited the health department and know that it is women who predominately utilize the services. It is time we women were represented in the leadership. Place Gilman on the board at the March district advisory committee meeting.

Do the right thing for our citizens.

Toni Dear



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