County welcomes new Healthy Places officer

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Healthy Places NC, an initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to improve health care in six rural counties, has a new program officer at the helm in Beaufort County.



Adam Linker, a former Greenville resident, said he is excited about the opportunity to work in eastern North Carolina, as it’s the area he called home for many years.

“I consider myself mostly an eastern North Carolinian,” he said. “I’ve certainly spent a lot of time in Pitt County and Beaufort County and around the east.”

Having now moved to Greensboro with his wife and two children to be close to the Reynolds Trust office in Winston-Salem, Linker said he still plans to make his way east often to meet with community members, assess some of Beaufort County’s health care problems, create partnerships between organizations and facilitate funds.

He said he has made a career out of advocating for health care needs, including a stint at the N.C. Justice Center, and he thinks this experience will help him at the new job.

“I’ve worked in a lot of the Tier 1 counties, some of the underserved counties,” Linker said. “We have to work across sectors, improve education, jobs, but use health care as our starting point.”

“I certainly am passionate about health care because it is so fundamental to our wellbeing. … I also am passionate about working across sectors and making sure we’re thinking about people and families holistically,” he added.

By managing the Healthy Places NC initiative in Beaufort County, Linker said he wants to place big emphasis on talking with residents and listening to their concerns. He said he also wants to focus on projects already in progress, such as tackling the lack of access to health care, diabetes and the opioid-addiction epidemic.

“Healthy Places has already been working in Beaufort County, listening to the community, thinking about how we can get different people in the community thinking strategically, how we can get different, get those different areas, of the county like education and job training and health care working all together,” Linker said.

By taking a community-first approach, he said he hopes to be able to make a difference in Beaufort County, tackling the tough issues of health care.

“The recognition that health care is a central piece of peoples’ lives,” Linker said. “I really want to get on the ground and start talking to folks.”