Archived Story

Madson to direct health department

Published 5:27pm Thursday, September 5, 2013

Beaufort County’s new health director begins his new job Sept. 23.


The Beaufort County Board of Health selected James Madson, currently director of the Hertford County Health Department, to replace Roxanne Holliman, who retired earlier this summer.


Madson, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in public health, served 24 years in the Army, including 13 years in the preventive-medicine field, which is equivalent to the public-health arena in civilian life.


“It’s a bigger population than the one I’m serving now,” Madson said about his motivation for seeking the Beaufort County position. “It’s closer to my home, which is Greenville, the Greenville area. It’s also an area I’ve always enjoyed. I do a lot of boating in the Goose Creek State Park area and that kind of stuff.”


Dr. Stan Cohen, a veterinarian who’s chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Health, said Madson’s experience and knowledge, including his familiarity with Beaufort County Health Department personnel, was a major factor in the health board offering him the position.


“For us, it’s just a good fit,” Cohen said. “We just felt like he just would work and fit in perfectly. I think he will.”


Cohen said Madson’s supervisory experience with the Hertford County Health Department, which has about 10 more employees than the Beaufort County Health Department and a budget almost twice as large as the local health department’s budget, was attractive to the local health board. Cohen said the health board views Madson’s Greenville roots as “a plus.”


“He came across very well. When he showed up at the meeting, he had already done his research and knew a fair amount about our county already, what the health department was doing,” Cohen said.


Madson believes he brings some unique qualifications to his new job.


“I have a diverse skills set when it comes to public health. I started out in environmental health working in aquatic toxicology. So, I’m familiar with water pollution and other types of pollution and chemicals in the environment,” Madson said. “I have a degree in nursing. … I did a lot of work with pediatrics, then I became a public-health nurse. … I have a master’s in public health, specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics.”


Epidemiology is the study of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. Biostatistics, also biometrics, is the application of statistics to a wide range of topics in biology.


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