BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC – April 4, 2023 – Buncombe County (BC) and the Buncombe County Commissioners recognize National Public Health Week from April 3-9. This year’s theme is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.” Cultures shape health. Communities are important for education and are built by its members. The BC Department of Public Health improves the health and wellbeing of everyone in the community. The Department protects, prevents and promotes community health. Some of the programs include food and environmental safety, ending health disparities, the COVID-19 pandemic response, clinical services, immunizations, sexually transmitted infections, and working with community partners for health promotion.
The Commissioners released a statement, “Public Health professionals help communities prevent, prepare for, mitigate, and recover from the impact of health threats including disease outbreaks (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), natural disasters, and disasters caused by human activity.”
The social determinants of health have a large impact on individual health and population health. These are community characteristics like education, income, housing, transportation, racism, discrimination, violence, access to nutritious food, water & air quality, and language & literacy skills. Contributors to protecting public health include first responders, social workers, scientists and researchers, and physicians and nurses.
The new Buncombe County Public Health Director is Dr Ellis Matheson. She has been the Director of Nursing and Clinical Services Coordinator for BCHHS since 2014. Prior to this, she has been a public health nurse with Henderson and Buncombe Counties since 2000. The Director of Public Health enforces public health laws, oversees the Department’s operations, and organizes efforts to promote public health.
BCHHS Director Stoney Blevins said, “Dr. Matheson has been a steady, robust leader in the agency and our region for many years. We are very fortunate to have this happy transition occur within our own ranks. I truly look forward to the continued growth and contributions of this organization under her leadership.”
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org