Printer-friendly version Print this page

Rocky McElvany

Deputy Commissioner for Protective Health Services

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299


Rocky McElvany is the Deputy Commissioner for Protective Health Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health. He began his career in Public Health in 1975 as a laboratory analyst in the State Environmental Laboratory while completing his undergraduate degree.


Protective Health Service is the regulatory arm of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and employs 230 staff with a service budget allocation of 56 million dollars. Protective Health Service consists of more than fifty regulatory programs which license, inspect, and investigate complaints in facilities such as long-term care homes, hospitals, emergency medical services, dialysis units, trauma care, jails, and retail food.


Prior to being selected deputy, Rocky was the Chief of Consumer Health Services for fifteen years. Consumer Health Service was created when the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Quality separated into two agencies. Consumer Health Service was responsible for program guidance, licensing and inspecting the traditional Environmental Health Programs such as retail food establishment, nuisance complaints, public bathing places, and lodging facilities. Consumer Health Service was also responsible for supervision of other non-traditional licensing and inspection programs including barbers, body piercers, burglar/fire alarm installers, x-ray equipment, home inspectors, and professional counselors. Before his selection as Chief of Consumer Health Service, Rocky worked fourteen years in the State Environmental Laboratory where he supervised the environmental monitoring laboratory.


Rocky has served as the Health Department representative to the Oklahoma Emergency Management Division for more than fifteen years. During that time he has participated in annual preparedness exercises and also served as a team member in the state responses to the Murrah Federal Building bombing, three major tornado and two major ice storm response efforts.


During his employment with the Department of Health, Rocky has also been a member and participated in the Oklahoma Public Health Association. He has served as the Chairman of the Environmental Section for the association. He has also been a member of the Oklahoma Society for Environmental Health Professionals, where he has provided an annual update for Oklahoma's Environmental programs for the last three years. Rocky was selected in 1986, the Lloyd Pummill, Sanitarian of the Year Award, given to a sanitarian in a mono-program area.


Rocky McElvany has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Oklahoma.

What I Learned at EPHLI

I am very pleased to have been a part of the training provided by the National Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute. This opportunity has allowed me to meet and share work experiences, opportunities and difficulties with others in the environmental/public health programs across the nation. I have been able to provide insight to some, but more, I have been able to grow as an environmental public health professional by experiencing the excitement of those who are new to our field.


We have experienced opportunities to evaluate our personal leadership status and also to learn from some of the nations best educators. The excitement of this training staff is they not only teach leadership but they have the prospective of our field which has caused their training to be very much on point to our needs.


I am appreciative of the support provided by the SLU. They have provided the focus for our projects and been available for consultation on any of the projects assigned. I feel like the opportunities we have experienced as the first group of the EPHLI have allowed me to progress as a leader in Environmental Public Health.