News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
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Gerald Chase retiring after 37 years at the Health Department
Board of Health appoints Linda Yaroch as Health Officer effective August 12

(June 16, 2011)  At its monthly meeting in June, the Board of Health for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan announced its decision to appoint current Deputy Health Officer Linda Yaroch to Health Officer when Gerald Chase retires from the agency on August 12, 2011.              

Chase and Yaroch have worked together for a long time.  Chase was just 28 years old when he took the Administrative Health Officer position for what was supposed to be a short-term assignment in 1974. Yaroch joined the Health Department two years later to launch the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program.  Since then, she's held Supervisor and Director positions, as well as a two-year assignment as Health Officer for the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department. She was appointed Deputy Health Officer in 2004.

"I've had a great career,” said Chase.  "What I've enjoyed most is the personal satisfaction that comes from working with others fully engaged in accomplishing common goals.  Linda is one of those people.  I'm glad the Board of Health is promoting my friend and colleague to Health Officer."


 The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. A retirement party for Gerry Chase is planned for later this summer.  For additional information, contact Jane Sundmacher at 231-347-5041.