July 3, 2022

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Health Lasts Longer

Toni Corona retires after 20 years as Madison County Health Department director


Toni Corona has taken vacations ahead of throughout her practically 20 many years as director of the Madison County Wellness Division, but her time off very last 7 days felt distinct.

She returned to the office environment on Monday recognizing she experienced only a few weeks still left to operate.

Corona, who has been with the MCHD because it began in 1996 and has been the director since 2003, is retiring on June 30.

“It’s sinking in ideal now, for certain, but the overall health office is in a definitely fantastic spot,” mentioned Corona, who was the environmental health expert services manager for MCHD just before turning into the director. “The devoted individuals in this article, from the division directors to the coordinators to all of the staff members, do a large career.


“This work has been easy for me since of the passion and professionalism of our staff. It is time for me to do something unique and I’m heading to acquire some time off.”

Corona claimed her decision to retire was not built that long back, although it had been in the again of her brain for a although.

“It was possibly mid-May possibly when I started off considering about it,” Corona claimed. “I preferred to assess and obtain where by we are at, and the state fiscal calendar year starts off on July 1, when you are beginning grant applications and performing all those kinds of points. The timing (to retire now) just appeared appropriate.”

Corona admits that the past two-in addition years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the included tension that was put on general public health industry experts, played a position in her decision to retire this summer months.

“I’ve had a 33-yr career in this field, and by no means did I picture what this would be like,” Corona claimed of dealing with the pandemic. “We have 40 personnel now, but at the height of the pandemic, we experienced 70.

“The previous two and a 50 percent yrs have been a blur, but we had been so thriving in the pandemic reaction. We led a mass vaccination clinic for a time period of months and supplied about 116,000 vaccines to men and women, not to mention all of the make contact with tracing and consultations we did with extensive-phrase treatment facilities and hospitals.

“I never want to reveal that COVID is over – it’s however present and we will need folks to be conscious and stay up to date with their vaccinations. But when compared to where we had been, I feel it is in a fantastic location.”

Though the pandemic resulted in for a longer time hours and a heavier workload for Corona and her staff members, it also reminded her of why she selected to turn out to be a community well being qualified.

“I totally really like public wellbeing,” Corona explained. “My degree is in environmental overall health and section of that was an internship, but at that time there was no local wellbeing division in Madison County. In 1995, the County Board voted to get started a health section and it was up and managing in 1996.

“I’m born and elevated in Madison County, and I desired to be a component of that. It is been a comprehensive circle and a excellent ride. My occupation is quite substantially my vocation and to be of use is extremely critical to me.”

Corona explained that her successor as director of the overall health section has not nonetheless been named.

“It’s up to the county administration, but they will title an interim director internally to maintain things heading. That should take place future week,” Corona said.

“I know that the career has been posted, and they will begin a look for for a director of general public wellbeing. Point out law defines the minimal qualifications for the position and there is a approach to make positive that person has the suitable knowledge and know-how of general public well being.”

An Alton indigenous, Corona is a 1985 graduate of Marquette Large College. She attended Illinois Point out College, the place she acquired a diploma in environmental wellness.

Her very first position in community health and fitness was in LaSalle County and she also labored in the St. Clair County Well being Office for many several years.

“After the 1993 flood, I still left St. Clair County and went to the Illinois Department of General public Wellbeing and did a whole lot of post-flood restoration get the job done with wells and non-public sewage units,” Corona reported. “By then, the Madison County Overall health Division was starting up to form, and I still left the IDPH to arrive listed here.”

Corona leaves her occupation with significant hopes for the long term of community well being in Madison County.

“The mission of a area health department is to assure that people have what they want in just a inhabitants of community health,” Corona explained. “We have environmental plans but there is also the communicable condition facet.

“We do a lot of immunizations and prevention packages these types of as most cancers screenings. Our community wellbeing system was authorised by the County Board (on Wednesday night). Very last thirty day period we recognized a few health priorities for the training course of the subsequent 4 years, which are psychological overall health, compound use and access to treatment.”

Corona’s options for the long run, after a couple months of downtime, are unsure.

“I’m heading to relax for a though, but I have to be of use,” Corona mentioned. “I will be carrying out anything, but I really do not know but what that will be. I’m excited for the prospects and I’m appreciative of what I have experienced right here.

“Leaving below is relatively bittersweet. I really like to be a component of a thing and know that we’re accomplishing excellent, but I also depart here really self-assured in the long term of the health department. I know it is in fantastic palms and I know that the employees is top-notch.”



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