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​Harris Named Public Health Director


HarrisMecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio announced today that Interim Public Health Director Alma (Gibbie) Harris, MSPH, BSN, RN has been named the permanent director for Mecklenburg’s Public Health Department beginning Oct. 30.

Harris has served as interim public health director since June 2017. She took over for Dr. Marcus Plescia, who resigned Aug. 4. Since then, she has overseen the development and implementation of the Public Health Transformation Plan.

“This is a huge step in the right direction,” said Diorio. “She has experience in all divisions of the public health system and knows the challenge Mecklenburg County is facing to improve.”

Her 25-year public health career has included positions as health director for Wake and Buncombe counties. While in Buncombe County in 2011, she was named North Carolina’s Health Director of the Year.

Harris has led efforts to identify health priorities, work to prevent and control communicable diseases, improve health outcomes and assure equity among all residents. She has also helped manage the transitions of single county health departments into consolidated health and human services agencies.

“There are a lot of things Mecklenburg County Public Health is doing right,” says Harris. “And there are also a lot of things we can do better. I am confident we can identify and implement the changes necessary to better serve our customers and restore public trust.”

Public Health has approximately 800 employees and multiple divisions, including School Health, Community Health Services, Clinical Health and Environmental Health. Harris will earn $180,000 per year.