WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — JaNell Octigan has been appointed Beaufort County’s new health director.

Jan. 1, 2023, will be Octigan’s first day in the new role. Current health director Jim Madson is retiring at the end of the year.

Octigan has been working with the Beaufort County Health Department for a decade. She started there as an intern in 2012. In 2013, the department hired Octigan as a public health education specialist. A year later, she was promoted to Human Services Planner IV/Preparedness Coordinator.

For the past nine years she has served as preparedness coordinator, Health Education Department supervisor, public information officer, community outreach coordinator, and recently as co-accreditation officer.

Octigan holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health from East Carolina University. She received her Rural Health certificate from Brody School of Medicine.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to continue serving Beaufort County
Health Department and the community,” Octigan said. “I look forward to working with the board, county leadership, staff, and community partners to lead Beaufort County Health Department into the next era of Public Health.”

“I am very excited about us continuing the direction the Health Department has moved
over the years,” said Beaufort County Board of Health Chair Dr. Chris Padgett. “JaNell has demonstrated great leadership and skills and I know that she will continue to help
move us forward in addressing health concerns in Beaufort County.”

The Board of Health “expressed confidence in (Octigan’s) leadership skills demonstrated during
COVID-19 response, both operations and community outreach, but her involvement
with strategic planning as well,” according to a Beaufort County Health Department press release.