Marion County Board of Health welcomes new administrator as long-term member retires

May 26—FAIRMONT — When Marion County Health Department Administrator Lloyd White said he would be retiring, Board of Health member Randy Elliott knew he would follow behind him.

During the Board of Health meeting on Thursday, Elliot announced it would be his last official meeting. He has served on several boards and as Marion County Commissioner, but the Board of Health is the one he served on longest. He spent 18 years on the board and said he's watched it develop into the best in the state.

"What a great board and great employees we have. The collaboration between the board and employees has worked out really well. It didn't happen to begin with, but it took time to build this team. Now, it's No. 1 in the state. I'm very proud of all of the employees and I'm thankful of them," Elliott said.

Elliott said White has been the best health department administrator in the state and several board members shared the same sentiments, especially in regards to the way he handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Lloyd and I have worked together for a long time and I give him all the credit in the world for the success of this health department — the best in the state by far. We were better equipped than any county in the state with the things we needed to serve people during the pandemic. I talked to Lloyd every day. We were prepared and I knew we would be," Elliott said.

But, White said he would not be successful without help from the board members and Elliott. Elliott and White formed a duo that was very successful over the past several years.

"For all those years, Randy was on county commission, never did I have to worry about funding, it was there. So, while he says all these nice things about me, I can tell you the reason why we're here and have been is because of him. The guy has been an unwavering supporter of what we do," White said.

The two reminisced on all they have accomplished during their time working together. They agreed that one of their most proud accomplishments was the complete remodel of all three floors at their headquarters on Second Street, which was finished in six months in 2012. They also added that they are equally proud to have been able to manage money efficiently, give employees frequent raises and take care of residents in Marion County.

During the meeting, White went over changes that might have occurred such as dogs being allowed inside and outside of restaurants. They also went over the budget for the year, which everyone approved. Elliott's position will be appointed by the Marion County Commission at a later date, but before August 2023.

White's last official day will be June 30 and the new Administrator, David Whittaker, will start July 1. Whittaker attended the meeting and said he was eager to start.

"I just want to thank the board for this opportunity. I've looked up to Lloyd for a long time — when I was just a sanitarian 15 years ago — and he's got me through a lot. I do think a lot of our philosophies are the same. I don't think there will be much of a change, especially financially — I run my budget in the same way. I'm excited to get to work with Megan and Doctor Patel and get my feet on the ground, but I know they're big shoes to replace," Whittaker said.

Whittaker has served as administrator of the Lewis County Health Department, but is a resident of Morgantown. He said he is happy to be working closer to home.

Many board members expressed their best regards to White and said they will miss working with him, but welcomed Whittaker and said they're looking forward to working with him.

White said he knows the department will be in good hands.

"I can walk out the door knowing we've fulfilled our mission and been pretty successful doing what we needed to do to take care of our citizens. It's been a great ride," White said.

The Marion County Health Department is located on 300 2nd St. in Fairmont. For information on their services, visit their website.

Reach me at or 304-367-2549.