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Turnpike director to lead Ohio Health Department

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has tapped the state's turnpike commission director to lead the Department of Health.

Kasich says Rick Hodges, a former state lawmaker with experience as a health care manager, has proven management ability to lead the department.

Kasich also named public health clinician Dr. Mary Applegate as the agency's interim medical director and said she'll support Hodges by focusing on medical issues.

Kasich says Hodges successfully changed turnpike operations to cut costs and led a new bonding effort to help improve Ohio roads linking to the turnpike.

The state's former health director, Dr. Theodore Wymyslo (WIMZ'-loh), joined a trade association representing community health centers after stepping down in February.

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