County says goodbye to outgoing health officer

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist and Sherrie Sprenger thanked outgoing Health Officer Dr. William Muth by phone Tuesday morning, May 16, for his nearly 14 years of service, Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Will Tucker was on vacation.

The retiring Muth, who specialized in infectious diseases at Samaritan Health Services, will be followed by fellow specialist Dr. Adam Brady.

“It’s difficult to convey our gratitude over the phone,” Board Chair Roger Nyquist told Muth. “I am grateful personally and from a county perspective for your guidance over the years and especially through COVID-19. You often told us things we didn’t want to hear, but that we needed to hear. And you did it without political spin.”

Nyquist praised the doctor’s support of the county’s mass COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, which, Nyquist added, likely saved lives locally.

“You were absolutely the right person at the right time,” Nyquist said.

Commissioner Sprenger said that although she took office as the pandemic waned in early 2021, she also appreciated Muth’s professionalism and leadership.

Muth thanked the commissioners and spoke highly of Brady, who completed his undergraduate degree at Oregon State, his medical education at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, his internship and residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and a fellowship at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine.

According to his profile on the Samaritan Health Sciences website, Brady enjoys sports, gardening, traveling and attending Oregon State University athletic events.

In other business, the commissioners:

♦ Heard from Muth of 34 girls and 26 boys born in the county in April. Some 111 deaths and 22 animal bites were also reported.

♦ Were told by Environmental Health Director Shane Sanderson of 63 permit applications filed so far this year, including five in April. The number of food service facility inspections is ramping up with 462 this fiscal year to date, compared to 282 a year ago.

♦ Approved a personal services contract not to exceed $53,768 with Samaritan Health Services for the Regional Health Education Hub; a contract not to exceed $60,000 with the Corvallis Environmental Center to promote programs that get children outdoors and develop health life skills; a contract not to exceed $79,500 with Jeff Jimerson Design dba Madison Avenue Collective to design new brochures, marketing services and website visual design.

♦ Approved a letter of agreement with the Service Employees International Union Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union Linn County Local 390 to amend contracts due to implementation of a mobile crisis team that will provide 24-hour services. Evening shift staff will receive $1.50 per hour shift differential pay.

♦ Approved a change order for $29,170 with Bent LLC for additional pile driving on the Folsom Road Bridge Replacement Project.

♦ Learned from Linn County Expo Center Director Kris Barnes that April was another busy month, with $102,000 income. Barnes said reserved-seating ticket sales for the July 13-15 Linn County Fair have been strong, with the July 13 Clint Black and July 15 Granger Smith concerts sold out.

General seating is available with any paid daily admission.

For more information, visit http://www.linncountyfair.com/.

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer