Bruce Ashley MD, Adams County Health Commissioner, Medical Director, and Registered Sanitarian, will retire on Dec. 31, 2015. The Adams County Health Department staff would like to thank him for his competent leadership through the years. Bruce has been someone we have trusted and leaned on for many years. He has served as a leader through many changes in employees and has made each of us better in our roles.
Adams County has been under his guidance for the last 40 years maintaining the health and safety of all who reside here. Many changes have occurred over these 40 years. Dr. Ashley has handled many issues that involved our county. Words cannot express all that he has done and given to Adams County.
Ashley moved here from his hometown of Louisville, Ky. He graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1971. He bought a farm in Cedar Mills where he still resides. He has a great love of nature and the outdoors and is an avid horseman and belongs to the Mountain Men.
When he first came here to live he started his medical career at the Adams/Brown Community Action Program (ABCAP) general medical clinic in Panhandle. Later he practiced at the Celebration of Health Clinic in Peebles. Only Dr. Ashley knows how many babies he helped to deliver safely into their mother’s arms. He has cared for the old and young alike.
Carolyn Work, RN PNP, and Garnet Hughes, RN, were working at the Adams County Health Department when Dr. Ashley began his tenure as Adams County Health Commissioner. For a time Dr. Ashley was obliged to administer immunizations to the children in need of them when a nurse was not available. Carolyn has several stories regarding what they did during their years together. They were a great teamwho were able to accomplish many things.
Dr. Ashley worked at the Adams County Hospital, now known as Adams County Regional Medical Center, as the Emergency Room Director, where he is still actively working. At this time he has no plans to retire from the hospital.
Some of his activities over the last 40 years include, Chief of the Adams County Hospital Medical Staff, Chairman of the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee, Medical Director for the Adams County EMS, Manchester and West Union Life Squads. He belongs to the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners and the Ohio Environmental Health Association, is a member of the South West Ohio Public Health Steering Committee, part of the Regional Epidemiologist Disease lnvestigators (REDI), and, since its inception, amember of the Regional Physician Advisory Committee (EMS) for the Southwest region of Ohio.
Besides being a physician in our county, he has raised his family. He is married to Sharon Copas Ashley. He has worked with Sharon at the hospital throughout these years. She recently retired as the Chief Nursing Officer at the Adams County Regional Medical Center. He has two sons, two daughters and five grandchildren.
The Adams County Health Department has evolved through the years also. Dr. Ashley has seen changes in home visits, immunizations practices from a few shots to several vaccines given to keeping a person free from disease, along with water and sewage changes. 9-11 brought its own changes as emergency preparedness became a priority. Disaster drills and policies have been developed to keep Adams County prepared to face any type of disaster. The Adams County Mass Casualty Response Committee was formed, bringing counry departments together to work and plan how to protect the residents of Adams County from natural or manmade disasters.
ln the beginning of Dr. Ashley’s commissioner duties, communication consisted of the U.S. Mail , use of rotary telephones on “pafi lines”, Ham radios, and word of mouth. The advances now include smart phones, digital and computer access to the world, use of T1 lines, MARCS radios connecting our office to the Ohio Department of Health and other county agencies by a touch of a button. He is leaving as our Health Commissioner at this time, but will still be here in Adams County and all hope that he will be an active volunteer as needed. He is a true inspiration as a person, boss, friend, advisor, and represents the ideal physician.