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New Jefferson County Public Health Director named

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Ginger B. Hall will soon lead the Jefferson County Public Health Service after more than 24 years with the agency.

Mrs. Hall, who started with the county as a public health nurse in 1988, was named director of the agency by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators Tuesday night. She will replace outgoing Public Health Service Director Jean A. Bilow, who will retire Feb. 28 after 38 years with the agency.

Mrs. Hall has been the director of patient services since 2002 and works directly under Mrs. Bilow. She was previously supervising public health nurse and quality improvement coordinator at the agency.

County Legislator James A. Nabywaniec, R-Calcium, chairman of the board’s Health and Human Services Committee, said there were two in-house candidates for the position and that Mrs. Hall’s experience on the clinician side weighed heavily in her favor.

“She proved in her interview that she was more than qualified,” he said. “She’s done all the things in her career and with her continuing education to put her in the position to take the job. She will do a great job down there, I have no doubt about it.”

Ms. Bilow, who has known Mrs. Hall since she first started working at the agency as a home health care nurse, said that her successor brings a wealth of experience and education to the job.

“I think Ginger is in a good position to assume responsibility for the department and moving it forward. That will be a benefit for the Public Health Service and the county and its residents,” Ms. Bilow said.

The director of Public Health is responsible for administrative, financial and professional oversight for the whole agency and all the services it provides, including: certified home health care, long-term home health care, maternal child health, clinic services, emergency medical services and medical examiner services.

Mrs. Hall said she was excited when she heard the news and was “very happy to have been selected.”

Her plans upon taking office are to ensure continuity with previous leadership and projects at the agency.

“There’s a lot of action plans and work plans already set up, so we will be continuing to evaluate and revise those to meet the needs of the community,” she said.

Another aspect of her job is to be prepared and ready “to take on whatever comes at this department.”

“We have had meningococcal outbreaks, pertussis outbreaks, and then the normal flu situation so it’s being able to manage those types of situations,” Mrs. Hall said. “There’s constantly something new coming at us so you’re always learning.”

Mrs. Hall said that those opportunities for learning as well as the “tremendous, high-performing staff” at the agency were the two most significant reasons guiding her decision to apply for the director position.

She credits the strong role models she has had during her time with the agency for setting her up for success. She mentioned Ms. Bilow; former director of patient services Jean B. Heady, who retired in 2002; and Stephanie W. Mider, who was her first supervisor when she started at the agency.

Mrs. Hall holds a Master of Science degree in education from SUNY Potsdam and expects to obtain a masters in public health from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, in December 2014.

Mrs. Hall, who lives in Dexter, grew up in Three Mile Bay and graduated from Lyme Central School, Chaumont. She studied nursing at Jefferson Community College and graduated from the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in the field. She began her career in health care as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital, Watertown, in 1985.

Her husband, Jeffrey D. Hall, is the office manager at Cardinal Construction in Dexter. Their son, Jonathan C. Hall, is studying business administration at SUNY Potsdam.

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