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Dr. Chinnadurai Devadason announced his retirement today after 22 years as county health officer, according to a news release from the Charles County government.

“After 22 years of service to Charles County, I am announcing my retirement,” Devadason said in the release. “I have welcomed the challenges and opportunities presented to me as health officer of Charles County, and trust that the county is a better place because of my efforts. I would like to thank the Commissioners, the residents, and my Department of Health staff for the support and assistance I have received over the years.”

Charles County Health Department spokesman William Leebel wrote in an email Thursday that Devadason is retiring due to ill health.

Devadason is ending a 29-year public health service career in Charles County and Maryland, the release states. He has been in his current position as health officer of Charles County since October 1995.

“Dr. D has been an exceptional leader and champion of health initiatives in Charles County. We have benefited greatly from his knowledge and expertise, and because of his unwavering service, Charles County has made significant advances in public health,” commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) saidin the release. “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to thank Dr. D and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Devadason had served in the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and as health officer of Queen Anne’s County, as well as his service in Charles County, since 1983. Before coming to Maryland, Devadason held medical positions in the Canadian Public Health Service.

In addition to his duties as a health officer, Devadason served as president of the Charles County Medical Society; he sits on the board of directors of Civista Medical Center; and is a trustee for the Maryland State Medical Society.

In 2008, he earned the Henry and Page Laughlin Award as Maryland’s Distinguished Health Officer.

Devadason received his medical degree from the University of Madras of India in 1965. He received advanced degrees in public health from the University of Toronto in Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom and the Royal College of Physicians in Canada.

Leebel wrote that Deputy Health Officer Faye Reed will assume Devadason’s duties until a permanent replacement is found.