Leadership Changes Announced at NC DHHS

In addition to announcing that she would not seek reelection this week, Governor Beverly Perdue announced that Laura Gerald, MD, former Executive Director of the Health and Wellness Trust Fund, would become State Health Director, effective February 1, 2012, and will lead the newly combined Division of Prevention, Access and Public Health Services. Outgoing State Health Director Jeffrey Engel, MD, will move to a broader policy-making role and become a special advisor on health policy to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Both Dr. Gerald and Dr. Engel are active members of the NCMS.

The leadership moves coincide with the Governor’s executive order encouraging agencies to consolidate and realign state government, to improve service and efficiency, according a DHHS news release.

“As we move to enact the Governor’s executive order, the focus shifts to a more integrated approach to improving the health of all North Carolinians,” outgoing DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler said. He will be working in consultation with incoming Acting Secretary Al Delia to begin the formation of the new division.

Related articles:

State health official stepping down, 1-24-12, Winston-Salem Journal, by Richard Carver

Governor Names Delia Acting DHHS Secretary, Bulletin, 1-20-12

Special Report: DHHS Secretary Cansler Resigns, Doctor to Doctor Blog, 1-14-12


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