Ken began employment as an Environmental Specialist with the Iowa Department of Public Health in December 1993 as a member of a four person “flood recovery team”. This team was tasked with performing a survey and evaluation of 800 private water wells in the state of Iowa.
In January of 1995, Ken joined the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program where he evaluated the environmental condition of homes occupied by lead poisoned children and worked extensively on developing and instructing curriculum for the certification of Lead Professionals in Iowa.
In August of 1999, Ken accepted the environmental health consultant position within the Dept. of Public Health and in 2003; Ken was assigned Manager of the Office of Technical Assistance in the Division of Environmental Health that provides a leadership role in educating local boards of health and environmental health specialists regarding their responsibilities to environmental health programs. Programs delivered through this office included Environmental Health Capacity Building, EHS-Net (Food Safety), Environmental Health Emergency Response, Comprehensive Assessment of Rural Health in Iowa, Grants to Counties Water Well Program, along with other environmental health programs.
Ken was appointed Environmental Health Division Director in September 2007 and expanded his role in September 2013 to direct the Division of Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response, and Environmental Health. This Division oversees the health protection functions of IDPH and includes acute disease prevention and surveillance activities, emergency response, environmental and occupational health, immunization and tuberculosis, as well as radiological health.