On Wednesday, the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors (NCALHD) honored Dr. Marilyn Roseann Pearson of Johnston County as Health Director of the Year.
The North Carolina Health Director of the Year Award was created by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and is implemented through the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, an affiliate of the NCACC and is given to an individual for outstanding leadership in both public health in North Carolina and for leadership and involvement in local community and civic activities
Marilyn R. Pearson, MD was chosen as 2015 Health Director of the Year for her leadership and commitment to the health and well being of the residents of Johnston County.
Dr. Pearson began her career in the Johnston County Health Department as the Medical Director. After 7 years as a physician in the Johnston County Health Department clinics, she became Health Director and Medical Director, directly supervising three physicians, five mid-Level providers, and other managerial support teams.
In this capacity, she oversees services provided in the adult, pediatric, epidemiology, maternity and family planning clinics. In addition, vaccines, WIC, environmental, and health education services are also offered. In 2013, she led the expansion of the health department with the addition of the behavioral health services division. Pearson’s work in working with other health partners in Johnston County to strengthen the medical safety net for the uninsured and underinsured was a key element in her being chosen for this year’s award.
She was also recognized for her extensive service on several boards and committees, including the Living Well Partnership of Johnston County, the Johnston County Schools Agency Round Table, Partnership for Children, and Project Access of Johnston and Harnett Counties. Her statewide associations include membership on the Community Care of North Carolina Board and in 2011, she was appointed as Congressional District 2 Representative for the Division of Medical Assistance Medical Care Advisory Committee.
Pearson received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Clemson University and her MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her Internship and Residency in Family Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC and is currently a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice.
Pearson was nominated for the Health Director of the Year Award by staff at the Johnston County Health Department.
During the same event, NC Senator Gladys Robinson of Guilford County was named the Legislator of the Year and Graham Children’s Health Services was honored with the 2015 Public Health Partners Award for their efforts to improve children’s health in Yancey and Mitchell Counties.
“We are pleased to recognize these leaders for their service to the people of North Carolina,” said Buck Wilson, President of the NC Association of Local Health Director. “They are the true heroes of the public health community.”
The awards were given at the NCALHD annual meeting awards luncheon in Raleigh. The awards luncheon was held in conjunction with the State Health Director's meeting, also in Raleigh.