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UPDATE: State appoints Interim Health Officer

August 31st, 2022 by WCBC Radio

With Jenelle Mayer resigning as Allegany County Health Officer- Margaret Wright has been appointed as the interim health officer. The State Department of Health issuing that statement late on Wednesday. Mayer was appointed by the state in 2016 after a lengthy search was conducted by Allegany County officials. That search was marred by the lack of any medical doctors applying for the post- which had been a requirement of the state at that time.  With no doctors expressing interest in the health officer position, officials were forced to lower the qualification requirements to allow candidates who hold a master’s degree in public health administration. Mayer’s tenure was largely consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic spending much of her time and energies between January 2020 through this spring focusing on the virus and it’s impact on the county. Ironically it was a February vote by the Allegany County Health Board to end COVID quarantining in schools- going against the advice and recommendation of Mayer- that was the first sign that her influence was waning. Despite that action and her somewhat abrupt resignation, Commissioners Creade Brodie Jr and David Caporale described her as an excellent health officer who got along well with the commissioners. Mayer released a statement late Tuesday afternoon confirming that she is resigning her position effective September 6.  She said that she and her family are relocating to North Carolina. She closed by  saying she has enjoyed her ten years at the health department and thanked  her staff for their dedication in serving county residents. While the county will make a recommendation to replace Mayer, the ultimate decision and appointment is made at the state level.