Dr. O'dell Owens. (Submitted photo)
Dr. O'dell Owens. (Submitted photo)
Interact for Health issued a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the death of former president and CEO Dr. O’dell Owens, who passed away at the age of 74.

The following statement was issued by Interact for Health staff:

"The staff and Board of Interact for Health are deeply saddened by the death of Dr. O’dell Owens, our former President and CEO. We extend our condolences to his wife, Marchelle, and children, Christopher, Justin and Morgan.
“Dr. Owens took care of our community from cradle to grave. He was a trailblazer, a leader, a friend and a mentor to many. During his four and a half years at Interact for Health, Dr. Owens worked to improve access to health care via 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 to improve health in Greater Cincinnati. He will be deeply missed, and his legacy will continue to inspire work for years to come."

According to Interact for Health, “Dr. Owens held both an MD and master’s of public health from Yale University Medical School, where he also completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Harvard Medical School and served as a clinical instructor in reproductive endocrinology. After returning to his native Cincinnati in 1982, Owens established an in vitro fertilization program at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He achieved Cincinnati’s first successful conception and delivery as well as the first pregnancy from a frozen embryo.

“Prior to coming to Interact for Health, Dr. Owens served as the Hamilton County Coroner, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College President and Medical Director/Interim Health Commissioner of the Cincinnati Health Department.”

Dr. Owens also served on numerous boards,according to Interact for Health, including the Cincinnati Fire Foundation, the Carl H. Lindner Jr. Family Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Ronald McDonald House, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Cincinnati Business Advisory Counci, the Cincinnati Preschool Promise, the U.S. Bancorp Board of Directors, the University of Cincinnati, Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Cincinnati Red Cross, Fine Arts Fund (now ArtsWave) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Dr. Owens also volunteered as chair of the annual CET Action Auction which supports Cincinnati’s public television programming. In 2020, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber recognized him as “Great Living Cincinnatian.”