• 57°

Rowan County health director retiring

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Leonard Wood says he’s had a “wonderful opportunity” to spend 13 years as Rowan County’s health director, but now it’s time for him to retire.
Wood’s official retirement date is Aug. 1, and his last day at the health department will be July 27.
“After 30-plus years in the public health field, at 63 years old, I’m ready to do something different,” Wood said. “It’s just time. And it’s time for new ideas over at the health department.”
The county health board has decided on a new director, he said, but the hiring process hasn’t been finalized just yet.
Several times during a phone interview Monday, the health director mentioned how much he has enjoyed working in Rowan County, and how glad he is to have had the opportunity.
“It’s been exciting to work here, because folks are willing to look to the future, deal with issues that need to be dealt with and make decisions to improve public health services in Rowan County,” Wood said. “We got a lot of support for that, from elected officials, to the Board of Health, to the staff, to the community.”
Commissioner Chad Mitchell, who serves on the county health board, said he’ll hate to lose the health director but understands Wood’s decision.
“I wish Leonard the best, and he’s done a great job for Rowan County,” Mitchell said. “I’m glad we’re not losing him to another health department. I’m glad he decided to finish out his career with Rowan County.”
Wood said he doesn’t have any definite plans for retirement, but he’s excited about it, especially because his wife is retiring at the same time.
“I’ll probably lay low for a while, visit with my grandchildren a little more and travel a little bit,” he said. “After a period of time, if opportunities come up to do things that are beneficial to the community, I certainly look forward to that.”
Wood said his replacement will face new challenges as the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law also known as “Obamacare,” is implemented. It’s hard to tell right now what the impact will be for public health departments, he said.
The new director also will face many of the same questions and problems that Wood has, including how to maintain needed services when budgets are tight.
In addition to public health services and nutrition programs, the county health director also oversees the environmental health and animal control divisions.
Wood praised the staff members in all areas of the department as dedicated employees, saying he has enjoyed working with them.
“I can’t say enough good things about the department, the county and the whole area,” Wood said. “It’s a great place for community collaboration, and I hope the new director will continue that collaborative effort.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Twitter: twitter.com/postcopolitics
Facebook: facebook.com/ Karissa.SalisburyPost

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Rowan Social Services director takes new job in New Hanover County; Heidrick to retire

Ask Us

Ask us: Will masks be required in Rowan County polling locations?

Elections

Political Notebook: Tillis, Cunningham differ on when to fill SCOTUS vacancy

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic