ADA – East Central University alumnus Chris Munn has been named as the interim regional administrative director for the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s District 8, which includes Carter, Garvin, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc and Stephens counties.
Munn replaces the district’s former interim director, Mendy Spohn, who was named assistant deputy commissioner for the OSDH’s Community Health division.
Originally from Pauls Valley, Munn has served Stephens County residents as a public health specialist for 27 years. He has been the Covid-19 vaccine project manager for District 8 since fall 2020, working closely with staff and community partners throughout the nine-county region. He also serves on the board for the Stephens County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the “Pathways to a Healthier You” County Health Improvement Organization.
“Just like for everyone else that has made it through this trying time, it has resulted in personal growth,” Munn said. “It exposed strengths to build on and weaknesses to deal with. While there is a lot to mourn, especially the loss of life, it has revealed a lot to celebrate and be thankful for.”
Munn noted that one of the biggest positives for him to come from dealing directly with the pandemic was the strengthening of relationships with his colleagues.
“They have continually amazed me with their professionalism, compassion, adaptability and selflessness,” Munn said. “It has also strengthened our relationships with our community partners, which I feel will result in additional opportunities for the agency to partner with them and better serve our communities moving forward.”
Munn earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from ECU, and he is currently completing an M.B.A. degree at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. He points to his undergraduate education as integral to his success in his chosen field.
“The Environmental Science program at ECU gave me a solid foundation in public health that allowed me to go to work for the Oklahoma State Department of Health as soon as I graduated,” Munn said. “I also began developing a network of fellow ECU students that I have been able to call on throughout my career when I have questions or need advice.”
Munn also credited ECU – in particular, an Epidemiology course – that allowed him to better understand what to expect during the pandemic and how to best contribute to the District 8 team’s efforts to confront it.
“We are excited, as always, when one of our graduates meets with success,” said Dr. Katricia Pierson, ECU president. “By all accounts, Mr. Munn has done incredible work for the Oklahoma Health Department, particularly throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We know he has the health of this district, as well as all Oklahomans, at heart. We are honored to count him among our alumni and we look forward to his leadership.”
Please visit www.oklahoma.gov/health to learn more about the Oklahoma State Department of Health. To learn more about Environmental Science and other health-related programs of study at ECU, please visit www.ecok.edu.