O'dell Owens, M.D., has worn a lot of hats in Greater Cincinnati - Hamilton County Coroner, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College President, Cincinnati Health Department Medical Director, and most recently, president and CEO of Interact for Health. Owens is retiring from the latter at the end of March.
Owens took the helm at Interact for Health in 2016. A transition team will take over upon his departure while the agency seeks a new president.
"I came to Interact for Health knowing that this would be my last job," Owens says in a statement. "Whether helping a child get glasses and see the board in school for the first time, passing a model Tobacco 21 policy to deter youth from smoking or vaping or helping reduce opioid overdoses, I retire knowing that, together, we've made a lasting impact on our community's health.
"I also plan to volunteer to support community groups on the regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic after my position ends with Interact for Health," he adds.
Prior to his many leadership roles in the local health community, Owens was a renowned obstetrician. He earned his medical degree at Yale, and studied reproductive endocrinology at Harvard Medical School before returning home to Cincinnati in 1982 and establishing an in vitro fertilization program at the UC Medical Center.
He's credited with Cincinnati's first successful in vitro conception and delivery, and the first pregnancy from a frozen embryo in 1988.
"From early on, Dr. Owens stressed that to have the most impact our work needed to be laser focused," says Interact for Health immediate past board chair Jeanne-Marie Tapke.
"Over the past four and a half years, Dr. Owens has worked closely with the board and staff to impact the long-term health of our community by focusing on three strategic priorities: reducing tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic and providing access to care via school-based health centers. I would like to thank Dr. Owens for his vision and leadership. While we are not ready to see him go, we are grateful for his leadership and wish him the best in his well-earned retirement."