Sangamon County has announced the nomination of John Ridley as the Director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.
The selection of Ridley comes after an extensive search and interview process conducted by a committee comprised of County Board and Board of Health members. This interview process allowed the committee to gain valuable insights into Ridley's qualifications and his commitment to the field of healthcare.
Reflecting on his nomination, Ridley said, "I am honored and grateful for the committee's confidence in my abilities. I look forward to working closely with the County Board and the County Board of Health. I believe we can effectively manage a successful department that serves our community's healthcare needs."
Ridley’s healthcare career is a diverse range of experiences that make him exceptionally well-suited for his new role. Most recently, he served as a System Administrator at Memorial Health, where he was an integral part of the health system's administration team. Ridley led multiple specialty clinics and post-acute care services across the system.
Dr. Brian Miller, President of the Board of Health, praised Ridley's extensive background in the healthcare field, saying, "Mr. Ridley's range of experience in the healthcare field, including personnel management, contracting, as well as care delivery, will allow him to be up and running with a very short on ramping time. His dedication to the well-being of the community is evident, and we believe his leadership will significantly benefit the Department of Public Health.”
Prior to this, Ridley held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he played a pivotal role in implementing Level II trauma services, enhancing emergency care capabilities. Ridley was also responsible for recruiting and hiring high-performing healthcare teams, ensuring quality care to patients. Ridley's healthcare career began in 1994 as a Radiation Therapist at Memorial Medical Center.
Andy Van Meter, Chairman of the Sangamon County Board, expressed his confidence in Ridley, stating, "We believe Mr. Ridley will be ready to lead the department on day one. His impressive track record and leadership skills make him the ideal choice for this crucial role in our County.”
James Schackmann, Chair of the Public Health Committee, shared his perspective, saying, "We are confident that Mr. Ridley will be an immediate asset to the county. His expertise and dedication will undoubtedly benefit our residents.”
Debrah Grant, Vice Chair of the Board of Health, emphasized Ridley's qualifications, "Among all the candidates, Mr. Ridley stood out as the most experienced and dedicated individual. We look forward to working with him in our effort to provide healthcare services to the community.”
"I have full faith that the department will have an effective leader that employees can rely on. Mr. Ridley and I share a genuine passion for ensuring the public’s health and enhancing healthcare access in the community," said Gail O'Neill, the outgoing Director of the Department of Public Health.
A native of Springfield, Ridley served six years of active duty in the United States Navy. Following his military service, Ridley earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield and a Master's degree in Healthcare Delivery Science from Dartmouth College. He is married with two children.
The appointment is pending approval from both the Sangamon County Board and the Sangamon County Board of Health, with voting scheduled at their respective October meetings. Ridley is set to assume his role as Acting Director on October 2nd.