RALEIGH — On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors honored Scott Harrelson of Craven County as its Health Director of the Year.
Harrelson, who is a Bladen County native, was chosen as 2018 Health Director of the Year for his leadership and commitment to the health and well-being of the residents of Craven County. He currently serves as the chair of the county-wide opioid response team working with community stakeholders to evaluate and address the opioid issues within Craven County.
He also works closely with the Merci Free Clinic, a primary care clinic serving the county. This work has helped create a more coherent community-focused patient centered medical home for patients.
“Scott has been integral in addressing medical access and continuity of care to those that are not aligned with other medical providers in the community,” said Wayne County Health Director Davin Madden, who nominated Harrelson for the award. “His work has improved the wellness and medical management of hundreds of local people by eliminating episodic care through the emergency department and providing a more stable and appropriate degree of community care.”
Harrelson was also recognized for his work by Craven County Manager Jack Veit.
“Throughout his career as Craven County health director, Scott has led his staff to new, innovative programs and projects to help improve the health and well-being of Craven County Residents,” said Veit. “It is through his leadership and commitment that the Health Department continues to grow and expand the services offered to our citizens, while at the same time finding efficiencies to help save the Craven County taxpayers money.”
The North Carolina Health Director of the Year Award was created by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and is implemented through the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, an affiliate of the NCACC and is given to an individual for outstanding leadership in both public health in North Carolina and for leadership and involvement in local community and civic activities.
“We are pleased to recognize these leaders for their service to the people of North Carolina,” said Dennis Joyner, president of the NC Association of Local Health Directors. “They are the true heroes of the public health community.”