A challenger for the County Coroner position on the Republican primary has announced his candidacy today. Charles E. “Chuck” Jennings, President of the Morgan County Board of Health, has announced that he will square off against Marcy Patterson in the Republican primary in March. Jennings has served on the Board of Health since 2006. Jennings is also a local expert on epidemiology, having nearly a half dozen professional articles in publication on the spread of communicable disease.
Jennings says he’s from a long line of health care professionals in his family. “I come from a long background of work in public health, including a strong background in epidemiology which is the study of disease outbreaks. I’ve done outbreak control, professional education, and disease surveillance. I wish to pass this experience on to the office of County Coroner and continue to provide for the citizens of Morgan County. I’m currently the president of the County Board of Health, and I’d like to further the way that I can assist the citizens of Morgan County.”
Jennings says that he just want to continue the efficiency of the office: “I will just concentrate on making sure that death certificates are done in a timely manner, that inquests will be utilized when necessary, and continue to utilize whatever current tools we have in place.”
Jennings currently is a founding partner with MJM Consulting Group in Jacksonville, which is a consulting firm that deals primarily in preventable infectious diseases to help boost education and prevention through immunization in a public-private partnership. Jennings began his career at St. John’s Hospital in 1964 and served as a Marine in Vietnam as a Hospital Corpsman from 1967-1971. Jennings received his Bachelors of Science in Physiology from SIU Carbondale in 1976. Jennings will face off against interim County Coroner Marcy Patterson, who has served in that capacity since replacing retiring coroner Jeff Lair last month.