Pitt County health director leaving, interim director named

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:16 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:59 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Pitt County Health Director Dr. John Silvernail will be leaving his position and a new interim health director has been named.

The Board of Health held a special closed session meeting Tuesday and revealed those details when they reconvened in public session.

Pitt County Manager Janis Gallagher says Dr. Silvernail sent a notice of resignation letter but she did not say why he was stepping down.

Gallagher says, “I can say we’re very appreciative for the service that Dr. Silvernail has provided to the health department. He was a strong leader through the pandemic and we respect his decision. Ideally, this interim role would last about 90 days, but we hope to have some flexibility with the candidate. If there’s a permanent candidate sooner, it could be shorter.”

He has been the health director for Pitt County since 2019. Prior to that he was an Associate Clinical Professor at ECU’s Division of Health Sciences and held numerous other health positions in New York.

Dr. Silvernail’s last day will be April 10th.

Pitt County said Wednesday morning that Teresa Ellen has been named interim public health director. Ellen retired earlier this year as Wilson County’s health director. Dr. Chelley Alexander, chair of Family Medicine at ECU Health, is the interim medical director.