POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — A familiar face will be stepping in to lead the Mason County Health Department.
Jennifer Thomas, a nurse at the health department, has been selected by the Mason County Board of Health as the nursing director/administrator of the Mason County Health Department effective Aug. 1.
Diana Riddle, who currently holds that position, will be retiring next month.
Thomas has been employed at the health department for nine years as a public health nurse. During that time, she has gained knowledge and experience in all areas of public health and the programs the health department offers, according to a statement released by Riddle.
Thomas takes over as administrator during a difficult time, financially, for health departments across the state when it comes to available funding. With Riddle’s departure, this will leave only four staff members at the department.
Despite some challenging times, Thomas seemed excited to be moving into this new position and said at the end of the day, one of her favorite parts of the job is, and will still be, working with the public.
“I like educating people … to explain to people what we (at the health department) do,” Thomas said when getting to speak about public health issues, from teaching CPR classes to explaining the importance of immunizations.
Thomas, after having been led by Riddle’s example over the years, plans to continue Riddle’s tradition of belonging to several organizations which promote health in the local community. She also said her personal goals for the health department are to continue to grow to meet the needs of that community, which includes education to the community and to provide as many services as possible to residents.
Thomas is a graduate of Hocking College, where she obtained an associate degree in nursing and has been a registered nurse since 2000. As well as a registered nurse, Thomas is also a certified cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructor through the American Heart Association.
Thomas is a lifelong resident of the county, a graduate of Wahama High School, is active in 4-H, CEOS and has volunteered with the Breast and Cervical Screening Walk for Women and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. She resides in Letart with her husband, Brook, and their three sons, Christopher, Matthew and Nathan.
According to the release from Riddle: “Thomas is a great asset to the Mason County Health Department to lead the health department, to thrive in providing preventive health services for the county.”
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.