department

Former equity chief accused Ohio Department of Health of ‘toxic’ and ‘discriminatory’ culture

BY: - April 23, 2021

After a drawn-out drafting process, the Ohio Department of Health’s top spokeswoman agreed to stamp ODH’s name on a statement with the Ohio NAACP and Commission on Minority Health correcting a myth that racial minorities are less susceptible to COVID-19. However, communications director Arundi Venkayya clarified in an April 1, 2020 email that ODH would […]

Along with health department, state auditor missed 4,000 COVID-19 deaths during probe

BY: - February 18, 2021

The Ohio State Auditor’s months-long investigation into the state health department’s COVID-19 data practices failed to detect the 4,000 newly discovered COVID-19 deaths announced by the Ohio Department of Health last week. Auditor Keith Faber’s staff have declined to fully explain how they missed the deaths — which sprung Ohio’s death toll from about 12,000 […]

Health department epidemiologist resigns after state discovers 4000 omitted COVID-19 deaths

BY: - February 12, 2021

An epidemiology investigator resigned this week and the head of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases was reassigned after the state health department discovered it undercounted Ohio’s COVID-19 death toll by about 34%. Karthik Kondapally resigned from the Ohio Department of Health, said Arundi Venkayya, the department’s chief communications officer, in an email Friday. Likewise, Sietske […]

Lawmakers send bill to governor to kneecap health department authority

BY: - November 19, 2020

The Ohio Legislature spurned the medical community and aligned itself with anti-vaccine groups Thursday, sending to Gov. Mike DeWine legislation that scuttles the state health department’s quarantine powers. In a party line vote, House Republicans passed Senate Bill 311, which prohibits the Ohio Department of Health from issuing statewide and regional quarantine or isolation orders […]

DeWine hires attorney with thin public health background to lead health department

BY: - November 6, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine hired an attorney to lead the Ohio Department of Health on Thursday, a position that has remained vacant for the past five months of the pandemic. Stephanie McCloud, who currently runs the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, will take over a position that has been filled on only an interim basis since […]

Lawsuit claims state stonewalled request for documents on drugs used in capital punishment

BY: - January 14, 2020

An attorney claimed the state has stonewalled her public records request, for the second time since 2016, seeking documents on drugs Ohio uses for capital punishment. Elizabeth Och, a Denver attorney, alleged to the Ohio Supreme Court in November that the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has failed to respond outright to a July […]