WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Beaufort County Health Director Jim Madson is retiring, effective Jan. 1.

Madson announced his retirement in a letter to the Board of Health dated Sept. 20. He has been at the helm of Beaufort County’s health department since 2013. He’s worked 38 years in the public health field, including 24 years in the U.S. Army as a preventative medicine officer. He’s worked in North Carolina for 14 years.

“This was a difficult decision to reach, and I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent as your health director,” Madson wrote in his letter to the Board of Health.

“On behalf of the Beaufort County Board of Health, I’d like to give heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Jim Madson for his many years of service to our county. He has worked tirelessly over this past decade, navigating the county in unyielding fashion through a most challenging health crisis in Covid, being a founding member of BC360, bringing behavioral health services to the county, and starting a community health and outreach program to name a few.  His team at the Health Department has been fully supportive and integral to this success.  We can’t thank Mr. Madson enough, and we wish him well on his next journey, knowing he will be sorely missed in Beaufort County.”

Dr. Chris Padgett, Beaufort County Health Department chair