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Epidemiology director steps down from KCHD

Janet Briscoe, director of epidemiology at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, announced this week that she will be leaving the department to work at Charleston Area Medical Center in infection prevention.

Briscoe started her career in public health in the 1990s at the state health department. Since joining KCHD in 2003, she was responsible for leading the agency’s response to everything from swine flu outbreaks in 2009 to the 2014 water crisis and the area’s Hepatitis A outbreak last year.

“Who would have thought that I would have started a career in nursing, and ended up so involved in public health?” Briscoe said. “Much less, that I would have stayed in public health so long.”

In her position at KCHD, Briscoe led the area in threat preparedness, meaning assessing and evaluating potential threats to public health. At Thursday’s KCHD board meeting, the agency’s board passed a resolution honoring her years on the job.

“This is to recognize [Briscoe’s] work keeping the community safe for the many years she’s been here,” said Dr. Arthur Rubin, chairman of the board. “We wish her luck, and thank her for the achievements she’s contributed to during her time here.”

At CAMC, Briscoe will still occasionally work with the KCHD, she said. Her new job will entail preventing infections in the hospital setting, whereas at the health department, she was responsible for leading a team to investigate infections.

Briscoe said she’s excited for the new venture, but is thankful for her years at the KCHD and what they have taught her.

“I’m leaving with thoughts of the wonderful opportunities I’ve been afforded here, and the people who made them possible,” Briscoe said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to spend these years working with any other team.”

The Health Department said it will be opening up the position of director of epidemiology and threat preparedness for applications.

Caity Coyne is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Reach Caity Coyne at caity.coyne@wvgazette, 304-348-7939 or follow @CaityCoyne on Twitter.

Funerals for Sunday, December 8, 2019

Board, Dencil - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Booher, Hughes - 3 p.m., Maranatha Fellowship, St. Albans.

Carpenter, Homer - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Collins, Jacob - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Donahue-Moubray, Kathleen - 3 p.m., Haven of Rest Mausoleum, Red House.

Estes, Peggy - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Friel, Ruth - 1 p.m., Lantz Funeral Home, Buckeye.

Johnson, Marvin - 1 p.m., High Lawn Mausoleum, Oak Hill.

Linville, Vada - 2 p.m., Orchard Hills Memory Gardens, Yawkey.

Pettit, Michele - 3:30 p.m., Faith Baptist Church, Spencer.

Prue, Margaret - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Scott, Robert - 3 p.m., Capital High School, Charleston.

Smith, Wanda - 3 p.m., Billy Hunt Cemetery, Kettle Road.

Sneed, Virginia - 2 p.m., Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley.