County health director named

JOHNSTOWN — Montgomery County’s assistant public health director has been named the new Fulton County public health director, starting next month.

Laurel Headwell of Fultonville has been appointed to the $81,000 per year position, Fulton County officials announced Thursday.

The position is a county department head with primary responsibility for management of the Fulton County Public Health Department on Route 29, including administration of a wide array of state health-related programs.

A county news release indicated that “after an extensive search,” the Fulton County Board of Supervisors has appointed Headwell to the post of county public health director. She replaces former Public Health Director Irina Gelman, who resigned her position in July for a similar position in Orange County.

“Ms. Headwell did a good job explaining her experience in the local public health field and her interest in maintaining solid health programs for the community,” Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Groff said in the release. “She also spoke about the importance of being open to the ideas of our current staff in advancing those programs, which was great to hear.”

Headwell was chosen from an original field of over 15 candidates based upon her “strong background” in public health and was recently approved by the state Department of Health, the release said.

She holds a Master of Science degree in community health and a Bachelor’s degree in health education from the state University of New York at Cortland. She is currently the assistant public health director for Montgomery County, having served as that county’s public health program coordinator prior to that.

From 2012 through 2015, Headwell served as health education coordinator for the Council on Alcoholism and Addictions of the Finger Lakes in Geneva.

The Board of Supervisors authorized a starting salary of $81,000 per year, advancing to $85,000 at the end of a probationary term.

The release said Headwell will be relocating to Fulton County and is expected to begin her new duties in early December.

By Josh Bovee

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