Follow-up: Wilkin Co. Public Health hires interim director

The issue: A Public Health Consultation Services agreement with former Otter Tail Public Health Director Diane Thorson was approved by the Wilkin County Board during a special meeting Monday, March 29. Thorson, who served in her previous position for 40 years, retired in 2018, but will serve as Wilkin County Public Health interim director until her contract expires June 30.

The background: Following news of former Wilkin County Public Health Director Deb Jacob’s retirement, public health worked with the Minnesota Department of Health to locate and hire an interim director. The county board discussed possible options at a previous March 16 meeting.

What’s next: Thorson began work Tuesday, March 30, Wilkin County Human Resources Director Stephanie Sandbakken said. The county will begin the process of hiring a permanent director soon. In the meantime, Thorson will offer consultation regarding COVID-19; general regulatory compliance; program data, grants and budget; reporting requirements, and serve as a consultant to the public health staff and county human resources and board, the contract stated.

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