Health Department names new public health administrator

• Dr. Sandra Martell served as interim chief operating officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health

Staff Report

Dr. Sandra Martell will become the new public health administrator for the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD). She will begin in her new role Wednesday, Aug. 6.

Dr. Martell replaces Mike Bacon, who retired in May after serving as the department’s public health administrator for 17 years.

Steven Lidvall, M.D., president of the Winnebago County Board of Health, said: “We, the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) Board, feel both excited and fortunate to announce Dr. Martell’s arrival to our community. Dr. Martell’s knowledge in the fields of medicine and public health, combined with visionary leadership capabilities guided by her vast experience will be a tremendous asset to the Winnebago County area.”

Dr. Martell said: “I am very excited to join the Winnebago County Health Department and to continue to advance the public health priorities established during Mike Bacon’s tenure. I look forward to working with the dedicated and professional staff of WCHD to serve the residents of Winnebago County.”

Dr. Martell comes to the WCHD with more than 25 years of public health experience, including recently serving as the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) interim chief operating officer (COO). As the interim COO for the Cook County Department of Public Health, Dr. Martell and her 300 public health staff members provided services to more than 2.6 million people. In that role, she was instrumental in the following:

• Implementing a five-year agency strategic plan to address local public health concerns;

• Developing budgets and grant applications to support strategic initiatives;

• Initiating the process for national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) for the CCDPH;

• Establishing internal quality controls relative to outcome and performance management; and

• Developing protocols and systems for emergency preparedness.

Prior to serving as interim COO, Dr. Martell served as the director of Integrated Health Support Services and chief nursing officer within CCDPH.

Dr. Martell holds a doctor of nursing practice and a master of science degree in public health nursing/family nurse practitioner from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Loyola University of Chicago.

Dr. Martell will only be the third public health administrator for the department since 1971, when the City of Rockford Health Department and the WCHD merged to become one agency.

From the July 9-15, 2014, issue

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