Miami County Health Commissioner Chris Cook has agreed to become the new CEO of Springfield's Rocking Horse Center. The center's board of directors announced Wednesday that Cook will start his new position on April 21.
Cook is a lifelong resident of Clark County and a graduate of Kenton Ridge High School and Wright State University. He's held several key public health positions in Miami County and has served as a commissioner since 2011.
Rocking Horse Board President Rob Baker Baker says the Center needed strong leadership after a tough year. The Rocking Horse Board parted ways with the center's founder Dr. James Duffee, whose ouster drew several protests from parents and employees.
Baker says Cook was selected from a pool of eight finalists because of his communications skills and ability to run a federally qualified health care center.
"When he took over as health commissioner there in Miami County that organization had suffered some trauma kind of similar to what we've had," Baker said. "He was able to rally the troops and refocus their attention to the mission of public health in Miami County and has just done a magnificent job of bringing them along."
Cook will be taking over for Dana Engle who left the center last year for another job. Engle had served the Rocking Horse Center since 2007.