Madson to direct health department

Published 5:27 pm 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.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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