Longtime Walworth County health officer to retire
ELKHORN Pat Grove, who has served as the Walworth County public health officer since 1995, will retire March 4, according to a release from the Walworth County Deparatment of Health and Human Services.
“It’s time for me to pursue other interests,” Grove said.
Among her immediate plans? A trip to Disney World with her eight grandchildren and completion in the county's Master Gardener training program. She will also stay committed to the community.
“I plan to continue my involvement with the Open Arms Clinic and the [upcoming] Mission of Mercy program,” she said.
Grove began her employment with Walworth County in 1979 as a home health nurse. She served as a public health nurse from 1981-1991 and then as the public health supervisor until she became public health officer in 1995.
She has served on several Walworth County committees along with the Gateway Advisory Board and Southeast Wisconsin Public Health Nurse Administrators Association. She formerly served as the president of the Southeastern Wisconsin Association of Health Officers and Board Members and as past chairperson of the Southeastern Tri-County Public Health Preparedness Consortium.
“The county public health officer is responsible for a variety of duties and ensures that public health services are available to the citizens of Walworth County,” said David Thompson, deputy director of the Walworth County Health & Human Services Department. Public health services include communicable disease surveillance, management of immunization clinics, environmental health monitoring and intervention, public education in health-related matters, and the implementation of the county’s community health improvement plan.
Janis Ellefsen, a registered nurse, has been nominated as the interim health officer for the county. Subject to appointment by County Administrator Dave Bretl and confirmation by the Walworth County Board of Supervisors, Ellefsen will assume the statutory duties of the health officer while a search is conducted for Grove’s replacement. Ellefsen currently serves as a supervisor in the county’s division of public health and brings many years of administrative and clinical experience to the position.
“We are very excited that Janis has agreed to lead our public health team during our recruitment process,” Thompson said. “We are confident that she will continue to guide our group to even greater heights as we seek to protect the health of the citizens of Walworth County.”
Elizabeth Walsh, a registered nurse who is currently a Walworth County public health nurse, will assume some supervisory duties during the interim period.
Thompson anticipates the position will be filled in six months.