Health department director’s last day Friday

(WEAU) - The Eau Claire City/County Health Department director is retiring.

Richard Thoune's last day is Friday. He's been with the department for the last 6 and a half years.

Thoune says he's happy with what the department has been able to accomplish since he's been director, like the statewide smoking ban, but he says the job has also had its challenges.

He told us Thursday "the 2009 h1n1 influenza pandemic was a major test and challenge for all health departments in the state, including ours, and it was a real test of our ability to respond to that kind of a public health emergency on a community-wide basis."

The health department says Elizabeth Giese will start as the new director on December 17th.

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