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The Telegram
  • O’Keefe named jail physician

  •  Dr. Gregory O’Keefe was appointed Monday afternoon as jail physician for the Herkimer County Correctional Facility, effective Nov. 25.

    O’Keefe, the current director of Herkimer County Public Health, was appointed as jail physician during a special meeting of the county legislature in a unanimous vote with five legislators absent.

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  • Dr. Gregory O’Keefe was appointed Monday afternoon as jail physician for the Herkimer County Correctional Facility, effective Nov. 25.
    O’Keefe, the current director of Herkimer County Public Health, was appointed as jail physician during a special meeting of the county legislature in a unanimous vote with five legislators absent.
    He gave his resignation to the legislature on Nov. 9 so he could focus on his private practice more and take on the role of jail physician. His resignation as Public Health director will take effect Nov. 24.
    Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono, R - Schuyler, said Monday state law requires the correctional facility to have a physician and O’Keefe, a resident of Little Falls, is qualified for the position.
    “Dr. O’Keefe is more than capable to serve in this position and has the confidence of the committees that recommended his appointment as well as the confidence of the legislature,” he said.
    O’Keefe’s appointment as physician of the Herkimer County Correctional Facility was recommended by the legislature’s Committees on Public Safety and Emergency Management and Ways and Means.
    County Administrator James Wallace said O’Keefe will be an independent contractor and not an officer or employee of the county. He also said the contract is terminable at any time by either party upon 30 days notice, for a sum not to exceed $25,000 per year, with the county to provide medical malpractice coverage and hold O’Keefe harmless from any such claims.
    Also on Monday, Christina Cain was appointed as acting director of Public Health.
    Cain, a current Herkimer County Public Health employee, previously worked as the lead poisoning prevention program coordinator, a registered nurse and childbirth educator, according to her resume.
    A resident of Dolgeville, she also is employed part-time as a genetic counselor at the Ferre Institute.
    The salary for the acting director’s position will be $60,000 annually.
    Cain said she was surprised to be appointed to the position, but it’s “definitely an honor as well.”
    Coming from within the department will lend her a certain perspective to analyze things and be objective, she said. Because it is an acting director appointment, Cain said not much will change.
    “The potential changes will have to be decided by the permanent director once they’re appointed,” she said. “Pretty much we’re going to continue to provide services to all the good residents of Herkimer County.”
    Contributing: GateHouse News Service
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