County appoints next health director – Washington Daily News

The county has named its next health director

Posted at 9:26 a.m. Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Beaufort County’s next health director is a familiar face in the health department.

Janelle Octigan, who has held various positions in the department over the past decade, was selected for the position by the Beaufort County Board of Health.

She will take over as director of health on Jan. 1, succeeding James Madson, who announced this fall that he will retire at the end of the calendar year.

Octagon will manage the department with a $5.2 million budget and 48 full-time employees, including registered nurses, social workers, dietitians, registered nurses, health educators and administrative support staff.

The health board expressed “confidence in her leadership skills demonstrated during the response to COVID19, both in operations and outreach, but also in her involvement in strategic planning,” the statement said.

“I am very pleased that we are continuing the direction in which the Department of Health has been moving for many years,” said Dr. Chris Padgett, Chairman of the Board. “Janelle has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and skills, and I know she will continue to help us move forward in addressing health issues in Beaufort County.”

For the past nine years, Octigan has served the department in a variety of roles, including training coordinator, health department supervisor, public information officer, community outreach coordinator and joint accreditation officer. She was initially hired as an intern at the Beaufort County Health Department in 2012 before being hired as a public health education specialist and later promoted to the IV Social Services Planner/Readiness Coordinator.

Octigan received her rural health certification from the Brody School of Medicine and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health from East Carolina University.

“I am honored and humbled to continue to serve the Beaufort County Health Department and the community,” Octigan said. “I look forward to working with the board, county leadership, staff and community partners to lead the Beaufort County Health Department into the next era of public health.”

The Health Department is under the supervision of an 11-member Board of Health, consisting of a District Commissioner, a Medical Officer, a Dentist, an Optometrist, a Veterinarian, a Nurse, an Engineer, a Pharmacist and three members of the public.

Local funding accounts for 39 percent of the department’s total budget. The rest is supported by fees and insurance from fee-for-service services and state and federal funding.

Beaufort County Health Department services include environmental health, public health preparedness and response, health education and healthy communities programming, women’s nutrition, infant nutrition, communicable disease control and immunization. Some other services include behavioral health, adult health, women’s health prevention, maternal health, patient management, and outpatient clinics.

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