Macon County Board of Health announces new Health Director

The Macon County Board of Health selected Kathy McGaha as the new Health Director for Macon County on April 14.

McGaha holds a Master of Health Science in degree from Western Carolina University and has been an employee of Macon County Public Health for 23 years.

In that time, she has served in several roles, including most recently serving as the Health Department’s Population Health Section Administrator, where McGaha oversaw the Health Education, Dental, Accreditation, and School Nursing programs.

The selection of McGaha as Health Director ends over a year’s long search for a department leader. Carmine Rocco has served as the Interim Health Director for Macon County Public Health for approximately 18 months, including overseeing the implementation of the School Based Health Center at South Macon Elementary School, the Health Department’s response to a Meningitis outbreak in 2019, and the department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kathy has developed into a leader because she listens and because she is an advocate that truly cares,” said Rocco. “The department and citizens of Macon County are fortunate to have her as the director.”

Board of Health Chairwoman Melissa Bell, a pharmacist at Walgreens of Franklin, said of naming McGaha to Health Director was an excellent choice.

“The Board of Health would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Carmine Rocco for his tenure as Interim Health Director,” said Bell. “Mr. Rocco has enabled our Health Department to continue services without interruption and has provided exceptional leadership. The Board of Health is also pleased to announce Mrs. McGaha as permanent Health Director. She brings both passion and dedication to the position.”

McGaha will be entering the role of Health Director during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Health Department’s response.

McGaha understands the challenge ahead, but knows that she has a hard working team behind her.

“I am thrilled to be named Health Director with an incredible staff that I have been fortunate to work with for over twenty years. Even though this comes at the time of a global pandemic, our team is ready to handle the challenges ahead of us,” said McGaha.

McGaha and Rocco will work together for the remainder of April, to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. McGaha officially assumes her role as Macon County Health Director on April 29.

Pictured at the top of the article is Kathy McGaha. Photo courtesy of Macon County Public Health.

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