Odell Owens Obituary, Longtime Cincinnati health leader dies at 74
- by Alex Danvers
Odell Owens Obituary, Death – According to WVXU, Dr. O’dell Owens, a longtime Cincinnati health leader, has died. He was 74. Owens has held positions as Hamilton County coroner, president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, medical director of the Cincinnati Health Department, and most recently, president and CEO of Interact for Health, which he will leave in March 2021. He stated at the time that he planned to volunteer “to support community groups on the regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and he even advised Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on the state’s COVID response.
Before taking on numerous leadership roles in the local health community, Owens was a well-known obstetrician. He earned his medical degree at Yale and then went on to study reproductive endocrinology at Harvard before returning to Cincinnati in 1982 and establishing an in vitro fertilization program at the UC Medical Center. He was responsible for the first successful in vitro conception and delivery in Cincinnati, as well as the first pregnancy from a frozen embryo, in 1988. The walls of his medical offices were adorned with framed photos of all the babies born to his patients over the years.
“Dr. Owens cared for our community from birth to death,” Interact for Health said in a statement after his death. “He was a trailblazer, a leader, a friend, and a mentor to many. Dr. Owens spent four and a half years at Interact for Health, where she worked to improve access to health care through school-based health centers, reduce tobacco use, address the opioid epidemic, and improve health equity in the region. His contributions to the foundation were part of a long career dedicated to improving the health of Greater Cincinnati residents. He will be sorely missed, and his legacy will continue to inspire artists for many years to come.”
Owens was also a longtime chairman and volunteer for WCET-Action TV’s Auction, and he will be honored with a mural on the Crosley Telecommunications Center’s Central Parkway side in August 2021. He was a firm believer in the importance of public television in children’s education. Kitty Lensman, President of CET, describes his death as a “complete shock” to the entire community. “He was a fervent supporter of CET and all that public television stood for. Dr. Owens rose to prominence and achieved much of his success on his own. He understood the importance of education and aspired to be a better person “WVXU was notified.
Hamilton County Coroner was his only elected position, which he held twice. He was frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for mayor of Cincinnati after leaving that position. He was never a candidate, despite his interest. The Hamilton County Coroner’s office issued a statement saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Odell Owens’ untimely death.” “During his more than 5 years as coroner, he carried out his life’s mission of positively influencing the lives of young people by encouraging them to stay in school, pursue higher education, and make good social choices. His impact on the Cincinnati community will be felt for a long time.” On the eve of his retirement last year, he told WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition how he first became interested in medicine.
Odell Owens Obituary, Death – According to WVXU, Dr. O’dell Owens, a longtime Cincinnati health leader, has died. He was 74. Owens has held positions as Hamilton County coroner, president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, medical director of the Cincinnati Health Department, and most recently, president and CEO of Interact for Health, which…