Public health leaders resign | Local News
Two prominent employees in Gloucester’s health department have resigned from their posts.
Public health director Karin Carroll and public health nurse Kelley Hiland both submitted their resignation letters to the Board of Health on June 30.
“I think Gloucester was lucky to have them both,” Board of Health Chairman Richard Sagall said Thursday. “They are very experienced professionals who have brought a number of great programs to the city and who have worked very hard. ”
“It will be a blow to the Ministry of Health and the city they are leaving,” he added. “It has been a privilege to work with them and I will miss it. It’s someone else’s gain from the loss of Gloucester.
Both were local leaders in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we all know, our community has just gone through the worst pandemic in a century,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said in an email to The Times. “It was not easy, but we all came together as a team on behalf of our beloved city. Our success during these dark days was due in large part to the Department of Health, led by Karin Carroll. We are disappointed. to hear that Karin has decided to leave us, but we wish her the best as she enters the next stage of her career. “
Carroll and Romeo Theken disagree over the mayor’s role in the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her resignation letter, Carroll said she would pursue other public health options. His reason for resigning was not clear in the letter, and Carroll did not respond to the Times’ request for comment.
Carroll will be stepping down on July 23.
“Over the past five years I have been honored to work as Director of Public Health and for the City of Gloucester and in particular with the incredible team of professionals in the Health Service,” she said. written to the board of directors. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Gloucester Board of Health. ”
During the pandemic, Carroll led the department’s response to the virus – scouring test sites, appointments for vaccines, and mitigating the spread with best practices as Hiland planned, implemented and evaluated immunization programs in the whole community.
Hiland has also served as Incident Commander for the Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics from December 2020 to present, while leading a team of over 30 clinical and non-clinical staff and volunteers, according to his profile. LinkedIn.
In her resignation letter, Hiland noted that it was her duty as the city’s public health nurse to apply and obey national and local public health laws.
“It is always important to follow these laws and change command during a state of public health emergency,” Hiland wrote.
“Public health is an evidence-based profession, where clinical decision-making must be prioritized, trusted, respected and isolated from outside interests. a nurse and I do this work out of compassion in my heart, ”she continues.
Hiland wrote that she will be stepping down from her post on Friday July 16.
Both had an impact in the community long before any global pandemic.
In addition to offering regional flu clinics, Hiland – who has worked for the town for six years – has also partnered with area public health nurses, dubbed The North Shore Mother Visiting Partnership (NSMVP ) in 2019 to provide a unique home visit to a nurse. all mothers with babies regardless of age, income, risk of number of children. Fathers, grandparents, foster parents and adoptive parents are also eligible for home visiting.
During his 10 years working for the city, Carroll has led a regional program that helps local communities prepare for public health emergencies through training, drilling and collaboration.
“I want to thank you, Kelley and the staff for the incredible work you have done,” Board member Claudia Schweitzer said at Thursday’s Board of Health meeting.
“It was only because of your hard work that this happened,” she added.
Where to go from here
As Carroll and Hiland both plan to step down later this month, the Board of Health will need to find replacements as the city continues to need medical professionals at the helm as the pandemic continues.
Although details of the next steps to find replacements were not discussed on Thursday, board members did not expect the search to be easy given the current climate between the health ministry and the mayor.
“I can’t imagine why anyone at this point would want to come to the city of Gloucester and sit on a board or a commission or run the Department of Health,” Schweitzer said.
Editor-in-Chief Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705, [email protected] or on Twitter at TayBradford97.