Holman heads into retirement


By Dawn Hatfield


DARKE COUNTY — A standing-room only celebration to mark the retirement of Health Commissioner Dr. Terrence L. Holman, DVM, REHS, was held on Thursday, Dec. 1. Dozens of colleagues and friends from Darke County and beyond made their way to the lower level of the Garst Building where even a spacious conference room could not accommodate all the guests.

Dr. Timothy Kathman, MD, Board of Health Chairman highlighted accomplishments throughout Holman’s 37-year career, including the Health Department’s relocation to Garst Avenue, the more than doubling of the department’s employees, the acquisition of grants for “almost everything,” and Holman’s successful steering of the community through epidemics, such as H1N1 and COVID, with “great leadership and common sense.”

Kathman said, “The citizens of Darke County have been extraordinarily fortunate to have had Dr. Terrence L. Holman at the helm of the Health Department for the past nearly four decades. Above all else, he has upheld and safeguarded the health interests of our county with steadfast commitment, dedication and professionalism. His wealth of knowledge and experience in the realm of public health will be irreplaceable.”

Mayor Steve Willman then took the opportunity to thank Holman for his service by presenting him with a proclamation and plaque from the City of Greenville. All in attendance agreed Holman will leave some “big boots to fill.”

Jordan Francis, MPH, former Director of Wellness Services for Wayne HealthCare, who will succeed Holman as Darke County General Health District’s Health Commissioner beginning Jan. 1, shared his strong impression of the man known to most as “Doc.” Francis shared a story he recalled having heard many times just since beginning as Deputy Health Commissioner this fall where Holman hit an owl with his vehicle and promptly pulled over, assisted the owl, and made sure he was healthy before continuing on his way. Francis said, without a doubt, that Holman “has a love of all things, big and small.” Continuing on, Francis said he was struck by how “very pro-family” Holman and his office are. Holman clearly is a man with strong priorities who always led by example. Finally, Francis joked to Holman, “I’ll probably be calling you on my first day!”

Holman added to the jovial mood by sharing the story of how his would-be wife, Marilyn, came in to quit her position at the Health Department on Holman’s very first day as commissioner. Within the year, however, she decided to return and served for more than 37 years herself before retiring from her administrative assistant position in 2018.

Prior to his career with the Darke County General Health District, Holman graduated from The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine and also earned his bachelor of science in Agriculture and Dairy Science. He worked as a veterinarian in private practice until September of 1985. Holman also taught Animal Science, Nutrition, and Reproductive Physiology at Ivy Tech. Since becoming health commissioner, Holman attained his Registered Environmental Health Sanitarian license as well as his County Registrar certification.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve Darke County,” said Holman, who explained his job has been “easy” thanks to strong professional relationships and all the wonderful community support.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at dhatfield@aimmediamidwest or 937-569-0066.

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