The longest-serving county public health director in the state has retired after serving for nearly four decades.
Kent Tarro officially retired after 39 1/2 years of service for Macoupin County after starting when the health department was established in 1983. Tarro began working as an assistant administrator at the Macoupin County Public Health Department in 1983 and took over the director’s position in 1990.
Tarro has started several programs during his tenure including helping start the county’s public transportation program and starting the county’s first dental, mental health, and medical clinics across the county. He was also instrumental in opening the Macoupin County Clinic in the former Maple Street School building in Gillespie.
Christy Blank, the Chief Operating Officer of the health department, is replacing Tarro. Blank has been with the department for five years.
The Macoupin County Public Health Department was established in 1983 by the Macoupin County Board and is governed by the Macoupin County Board of Health. When it began, there was only one site and nine employees. Today there are more than fifty employees working in four different sites.