SANGAMON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Sangamon County officials have announced a nomination for the Director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

John Ridley was nominated after a committee made up of County Board and Board of Health members conducted an extensive search. If approved, he would take over for Gail O’Neill, who is retiring after more than 15 years as Director.

“Mr. Ridley’s range of experience in the healthcare field, including personnel management, contracting, as well as care delivery, will allow him to be up and running with a very short on-ramping time,” Dr. Brian Miller, President of the Board of Health, said in a statement. “His dedication to the well-being of the community is evident, and we believe his leadership will significantly benefit the Department of Public Health.”

Ridley is a Springfield native whose healthcare journey began in 1994 at Memorial Medical Center, where he was a Radiation Therapist. Since then, he has served in the United States Navy, worked as a System Administrator at Memorial Health System and was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Decatur Memorial Hospital. He has also filled leadership roles at several specialty clinics and recovery care services across the system.

“I am honored and grateful for the committee’s confidence in my abilities. I look forward to working closely with the County Board and the County Board of Health,” Ridley said. “I believe we can effectively manage a
successful department that serves our community’s healthcare needs.”

The committee will will take a final vote for Ridley next month. He would step into the role on Oct. 2.