April 28, 2021
Mobile County Commission honors Dr. Eichold on a milestone
MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II accepted the position of Health Officer for Mobile County on May 1, 1990. He will be observing his 31st year at the helm of the Mobile County Health Department on Saturday.
In recognition of the anniversary, the Mobile County Commission presented Dr. Eichold with a Commendation of Professional Achievement this week. It stated: “The Mobile County Commission wishes to applaud Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II on his extraordinary professional achievements on the occasion of his 31st anniversary as Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department. Furthermore, we extend our congratulations and best wishes to him for continued success.”
Dr. Eichold shared the previous mark for longest tenure in Mobile County with Dr. Otis Leon Chason, who served as Health Officer from 1934 to 1964. Now following research with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Jefferson County Department of Health, it appears no other health officer in Alabama has ever served as long as Dr. Eichold.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure being the doctor for our community for over 30 years,” Dr. Eichold said. “In that time, we have reduced teenage pregnancy by 40 percent. We have used philanthropic dollars to empower a team of students to work against tobacco use. “We have worked with churches, industries, and individual citizens to improve their personal health, those of their employees and their congregations. We remain the only health department in the state that is both Joint Commission accredited for Ambulatory Health Care and a Federally Qualified Health Center.”
This was just the latest recognitions to be bestowed upon Dr. Eichold. He was presented with the 2018 Laureate Award by the American College of Physicians’ Alabama Chapter. This follows a special honor received that same year from Tulane University, which named him Alumni of the Year for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Born and raised in Mobile, Dr. Eichold has obtained multiple academic degrees from Tulane. These include Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Public Health degrees. “Without my education, I could not have served as many persons and organizations,” Dr. Eichold said at that time. “My father stated education is the key to opportunity.”
This love of learning has deep roots in the Eichold family. His father Samuel and mother Charlotte stressed the value of education and community service. Dr. Sam Eichold II was the first Professor Emeritus at the University of South Alabama’s College of Medicine. The Mobile County Public School System recognized his many civic achievements and support of education by naming Eichold-Mertz Elementary School on Government Boulevard in his honor.
Previously when the elementary students advance, they were given a printed bookmark to remind them of Dr. Sam’s sayings: “The Foundations of Life are based on Discipline, Desire, Determination, Discretion and Duty. The Virtues of Life are Courtesy, Cleanliness, Punctuality, and Loyalty.”
Dr. Sam Eichold was presented with the ACP’s Laureate Award in 1993. Two other honorees – John McGehee in 1997 and Steve Davis in 2007 – served with Dr. Bert Eichold in private practice before he became Health Officer.
Dr. Bert Eichold served his country in the U.S. Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain, F.S, M.C. In addition to his medical duties, he has been very active in many civic organizations. Some include, but are not limited to, Mobile United, BIG, Mobile ARC, Chair of the Community Foundation of South Alabama Board, and currently on the Vestry of Christ Church Cathedral.
Dr. Eichold has been an Instructor at Tulane and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of South Alabama. He has served as a Science Advisor and mentor to young scientists in the NASA DEVELOP program based at MCHD. He is Senior Aviation Medical Examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration.
He has received NASA and U.S. Navy medals, various civic/community awards and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. He was presented with the William Henry Sanders Award from the Medical Association of Alabama in 2002 for his many years of service to public health. The Cottage Hill Civitan Club named him as the 2012 Mobilian of the Year.