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State health director resigns, cites differences with administration

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Dr. Laura Gerald served as the State Health Director and Director of the Division of Public Health for the past 18 months. Dr. Laura Gerald served as the State Health Director and Director of the Division of Public Health for the past 18 months.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The State Health Director and Director of the Division of Public Health cited differences with Pat McCrory's administration in announcing her resignation in an official letter dated July 30.

Dr. Laura Gerald wrote, "I acknowledge that I have significant differences and disagreements with many of the policy and administrative directions that I see unfolding in North Carolina and in the Department of Health and Human Services.

"These differences are making it increasingly impossible to continue to be effective in my current role."

The letter was addressed to Dr. Aldona Wos, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services,

In a release Monday night, Wos said she accepted the resignation of Gerald, who had served in the role for the past 18 months.

Gerald's resignation is effective immediately.

WNCN obtained Gerald's resignation letter with through a Freedom of Information Request.

Read Dr. Gerald's resignation letter

Gerald praised Gov. Bev Perdue, who originally appointed her, and also wrote "I appreciate being a part of Governor McCrory's administration for the last seven months."

She cited achievements from three years "in senior leadership positions in state government" and said she appreciated the chance to serve.

"On behalf of nearly 18,000 DHHS employees, please join me in thanking Dr. Gerald for her service to the state and wishing her well on her future endeavors," Wos said.

Wos wrote that she asked Robin Cummings, M.D., the Director of DHHS' Office of Rural Health and Community Care, to temporarily serve as the Acting State Health Director.

Danny Staley, the Deputy Director of Public Health, will temporarily serve as the Acting Director of the Division of Public Health, the release stated.

Gerald did not specifically mention the new abortion bill in her letter. Her resignation came a day after McCrory signed the abortion bill Monday.

The bill, Senate Bill 353, said DHHS "is authorized to apply any requirement for the licensure of ambulatory surgical centers to the standards applicable to clinics certified by the Department to be suitable facilities for the performance of abortions."

 

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