Batavia, OH – Julianne Nesbit was selected as the new Health Commissioner for Clermont County in August 2012 and officially began her new role in April of this year. She is replacing Martha “Marty” Lambert who served as the County Health Commissioner since September 1, 2005. Nesbit has worked in the public health field for 16 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Management from Ball State University and received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Wright State University. Nesbit joined the county in 2005 as the Assistant Health Commissioner. Her responsibilities have included fiscal management, personnel, communications, web management and public health emergency preparedness.
During her career, Nesbit has helped the county achieve additional grant funding, boldly assisted in leading the region through the H1N1 emergency, successfully launched the CAN program, conducted the National Public Health Performance Standards in 2012 and greatly improved software systems for increased departmental efficiency. Regarding her new role, Nesbit said, “I started out as a sanitarian in Warren County and realized within the first few years that I wanted a lifelong career in public health. After accepting the position as Assistant Health Commissioner in Clermont County, pursuing the position as Health Commissioner was a natural progression.”
Nesbit encourages Clermont County residents to take an active role in the decisions they make regarding their health. The Health District is the lead agency for Clermont CAN (Coalition for Activity and Nutrition) and their mission is teaching community members “Be Active, Eat Smart.” Directed by Ms. Nesbit, the Health District motivates citizens to make smart decisions regarding health behaviors including eating right, increasing physical activity and not using tobacco products. Clermont County has many great resources that are easily accessible for becoming and staying healthy, including 65 places throughout the county for no cost or low cost physical activity. “It can be hard to eat healthy with busy schedules. At the Health District, we encourage people to make healthy food choices as much as possible, to be aware of portion sizes and to know what is healthy for their lives,” said Nesbit. “It’s OK to splurge occasionally too, we are all human, we just need to find small ways to incorporate good changes into our lives and together become a healthier community.”
Nesbit says she is most excited about the Health District’s progress towards accreditation. The accreditation process started in 2010 with the Continuous Quality Improvement grant and her staff has made the necessary incremental steps towards completing each task for compliance. The state budget bill recently signed by the Governor makes national voluntary accreditation mandatory for all Ohio public health agencies. “It is a lot of work to earn accreditation, fortunately we have devoted staff that are dedicated in moving the process forward,” stated Nesbit. “These are very exciting times for us; we have adopted a slow but steady approach that will have us ready to apply well ahead of the mandated deadline.”
Nesbit is looking forward to navigating the county through the present-day challenges of public health reform and expanding community health needs. She believes the biggest challenge ahead of her is the direction of public health’s future that is already confronting all public health agencies. Nesbit sees public health rapidly evolving and becoming more and more difficult to provide the necessary programs that protect the public’s health. Adding to the complex equation, are unfunded mandates and how to deliver community needs and wants with shrinking resources.
Yet, Nesbit is optimistic and believes that the Clermont County Health District is currently in a good position. “We have one of the best teams around and they have done an outstanding job balancing increasing workloads and reduced resources. Our staff is creative, innovative and efficient. It is very inspiring to see how they are continually working to find ways we can serve the community better,” said Nesbit. “Their efforts drive me.”
Straightaway, Nesbit and her team are working diligently to create an internal Workforce Development Plan to guide their way into the future and are also spearheading a Community Health Assessment for Clermont County. The Health District will work with partner agencies to create this Community Health Assessment and it will be used as a living-breathing document that includes individual feedback from citizens regarding current public health issues and needs.
“I feel that Ms. Nesbit is very qualified to be health commissioner, both in academic training and experience. She provides excellent leadership for the Board of Health and we expect her leadership to keep the health district at the forefront of cutting edge developments and improvements to public health for many years to come,” stated Dr. Janet Rickabaugh, Clermont County Board of Health.
Tim Kelly is currently serving as the Assistant Health Commissioner. Kelly has been with the Health District for 18 years. He has worked as a sanitarian and has most recently been the Emergency Response Coordinator.
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For additional information about this or other county news, contact Clermont County Communications Director, Annette Meagher at (513) 441-9647 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org