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County health department selects administrator

Unanimous vote for one of three applicants for position

Former Washington County Director of Nursing Val Betkoski hands out copies of her statement to the Washington County Board of Health on Monday. (Photo by

Two-and-a-half hours of public and executive session discussion net the scheduling of an additional special board of health meeting for the Washington County Health Department on Monday.

The executive session of the board included three interviews for the open position of health administrator, which has remained vacant since the former administrator Roger Coffman quit in November 2020.

When the board returned to public discussion Monday it unanimously voted to offer the role at $22.50 per hour to their top selection of the three, with a probationary period to be set for six months.

Upon completion of that probationary period, the board agreed to then pay the new health administrator $25 per hour.

Pending acceptance of the offer the name of the new administrator would then be released.

Volunteers stand to be recognized at the Washington County Board of Health meeting Monday. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

The board also gave a round of applause for the volunteers who have made possible vaccination clinics and last year the tracking of active coronavirus clinics following the unanimous passage of two resolutions recognizing volunteer aid.

The board was also addressed by the former Director of Nursing Val Betkoski who addressed the board’s vote of no confidence in her.

That vote dismissing Betkoski happened in February without notice to Betkoski. She listed three examples of interactions in her address to the board pointing to how “misinformation and personal vendettas” had shaped decisions impacting residents of the county.

“I was not afforded the consideration of proper firing procedures for county government employees including but not limited to: written write-ups, suspensions, or a proper investigation into the claims put forth by a staff member and Bruce Kelbaugh,” she said. “(The) Washington County Health Department used to be considered one of the best in the southeast region. Now with the lack of day-to-day leadership and the board president decimating the long-term dedicated staff it has become a laughing stock.”

Kelbaugh did not respond to Betkoski’s statement before moving the board into executive session for interviews for a new administrator.

Former Washington County Director of Nursing Val Betkoski reads her statement to the Washington County Board of Health on Monday following their dismissal without her requested attendance in February’s regular board meeting. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Betkoski’s position is currently being filled by Interim Director of Nursing Angie Rarey.

What’s Next

At a to-be-determined date this month a special session of the board of health is scheduled to discuss four topics: policies and procedures for employee discipline and board interactions with staff and the public; a community resource center funding request; a Washington County Commissioners’ request for use of the director of environmental services to find missing septic systems in Devola; and a budget review in advance of the county budget commission deadline April 1.

Each of the aforementioned topics was tabled following more than two hours of discussion by the board and its interviews of health administrator candidates Monday.

Notes: See a future edition of the Times for a blind review of resumes for the three candidates interviewed Monday.

For more on the volunteers who make ongoing clinics in Devola possible see the Monday edition of The Marietta Times.

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