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Cass County Board: Cass County hires new HHVS deputy director

WALKER—The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to hire Thomas Burke as the county's new deputy health, human and veterans services deputy director.

Burke was director of Aitkin County health and human services from May 27, 1997, to Dec. 2, 2016, according to the resume he presented to Cass County.

He will serve as second in command under Director Michelle Piprude in Cass' HHVS.

During his tenure at Aitkin County, the public health, social services, financial services, child support and accounting departments were merged into one department, which he then oversaw. He prepared budgets, giving consideration to efficiency and cost effectiveness of the department, his resume states.

He provided leadership and involvement at the local, state and federal levels. He indicated he worked to ensure the department was accountable to both taxpayers and customers.

Burke said he worked to assure the Aitkin County Board members were kept aware of agency

issues, policies, needs and problems.

He earned a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and a master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

He worked as a social worker for the Iowa Department of Human Services from 1984 to 1992. From 1992 to 1997, he worked in various social worker capacities for the Veterans Administration Center in Knoxville, Iowa. His focus there was helping people with post-traumatic stress disorders and substance abuse issues.

He was one of 15 social workers in the VA system chosen nationally for social worker leadership training to become a social work service chair.

He is a Minnesota-licensed social worker.

Burke's experience includes managing a multi-million-dollar budget, administering personnel activities (including with a union workforce), working with multiple community groups on health social services issues and working with other government levels and regional services.

He has been active in the Minnesota Association of County Social Services Administrators, Association of Minnesota Counties and the National Association of Counties.

During his tenure as health and human services director at Aitkin County, Burke also served for seven months as interim county administrator while that county was advertising for a new administrator.

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