ASHEVILLE – Buncombe County’s Public Well being Director Stacie Saunders will likely be leaving her place for one on the North Carolina Division of Well being and Human Companies, the county introduced Nov. 21.
Saunders’ new function will likely be deputy director/part chief for native and group help for DHHS, part of the Division of Public Well being, a press launch from the county mentioned. She started on the county on Aug. 3, 2020, and since, the discharge mentioned, has led via the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuilt the Group Well being Promotions part, created the Public Well being Cellular Crew and led the division via a profitable accreditation course of.
“That is an thrilling time for me but additionally one crammed with disappointment as it is vitally laborious to depart this Public Well being workers, who’ve turn out to be very particular to me,” Saunders mentioned within the launch. “I take into account these of us in Public Well being a household. As a Public Well being chief, I’ve all the time needed to see progress for everybody I’ve had the pleasure and honor to function their Well being Director. And now, it appears, it’s time for me develop outdoors of native public well being and discover this chance on the state degree.”
Her final day will likely be Dec. 31.
“The county appreciates the work Saunders has performed in her two years as director and is unhappy to see her go,” Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman mentioned. Whereas he didn’t work together with her on day-to-day actions, he mentioned that on larger image gadgets that had been introduced earlier than the board, her work was invaluable.
“Stacie Saunders did a fantastic job through the utterly unprecedented public well being disaster going through our group, and, in fact, communities all throughout the nation, through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Newman mentioned. “She offered invaluable steerage to native authorities and the group for the way of us can keep protected and handle the dangers that all of us confronted through the pandemic.”
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Earlier than coming to work in Buncombe, Saunders was public well being director in Alamance County.
Saunders’ wage with Buncombe County was $127,635 a 12 months.
In her new function, Saunders will likely be working with the entire state’s 86 native well being departments, which contains Buncombe County, the discharge mentioned. Saunders will likely be changing Beth Lovette, who at present holds the DHHS place, in line with its web site.
DHHS manages supply of health- and human-related companies for these within the state, in line with its web site, particularly for these it calls “our most weak residents” — kids, older folks, disabled and low-income households. To do that, DHHS works with well being care professionals, group leaders and advocacy teams; native, state and federal entities and different stakeholders, its web site mentioned.
Extra:Buncombe County worker wage database
“We’re happy that Stacie will likely be becoming a member of us right here on the NC Division of Public Well being,” Susan Kansagra, assistant secretary for public well being, mentioned in an e-mail. “Her a few years as a neighborhood public well being director and her management with the NC Affiliation of Native Well being Administrators will likely be a fantastic asset to us in her new function as Deputy Director and Part Chief for Native and Group Help.
“As a acknowledged public well being chief in our state, she’s going to deliver her technical information and the advantages of her many relationships throughout the state. We all know her work made a big effect within the Buncombe group, and we’re glad to have her experience in enhancing the well being and well-being for all North Carolinians,” Kansagra mentioned.
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No alternative has been chosen but, and in line with county spokesperson Lillian Govus, the county will undergo the recruitment and hiring course of as with every place. In line with the press launch, Buncombe County Well being and Human Companies will let the general public know when extra info is obtainable in regards to the place.
Newman mentioned he hopes the subsequent public well being director will share a lot of Saunders’ qualities, like her expertise and communication expertise, and he hopes the subsequent director will be capable to work nicely with the group and the county’s companions, very like Saunders did.
Stacey Wooden, spokesperson for the county’s Well being & Human Companies division, advised the Citizen Occasions on Nov. 21 that Saunders was not out there for an interview about her transition.
Christian Smith is the final project reporter for the Asheville Citizen Occasions. Questions or feedback? Contact him at [email protected] or 828-274-2222.