Hillsborough, NC (December 19, 2016) – Orange County’s Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger has announced her resignation effective February 23, 2017. Dr. Bridger has accepted the position of Public Health Director with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District in Texas. She will begin her new role with the 7th largest city’s health department on March 6th.

“This was a difficult decision. I love it here! I love the Board of Health, the Board of County Commissioners, and most of all; the Health Department staff. They make my job easy, fun, and fulfilling. It is because of the great work we have done in Orange County, that I am ready for this next big challenge,” stated Dr. Bridger.

Dr. Bridger has led the Orange County Health Department for more than five years and pioneered several innovative, public health initiatives. Thanks to her vision, Orange County has implemented programs that have not only created access to, and improved opportunities for, a culture of health beyond the clinic walls, but opened doors for other health departments to do the same. Some of the initiatives she spearheaded include the comprehensive Smoke-Free Public Places Rule; the county’s collective impact anti-poverty program, The Family Success Alliance; the town/gown high-risk alcohol collaborative; as well as overdose prevention and harm reduction projects related to safe syringe disposal and acquisition and naloxone access. She will complete the health department’s reaccreditation and budget processes before she leaves.

The national search for the county’s new health director will be led by the Board of Health. The position will be posted after the first of the year.

“With Colleen at the helm, Orange County has been able to adopt and implement many progressive policies and programs. The Board of Health and health department’s dedicated staff are committed to continuing her legacy in our search for the new Director,” said Liska Lackey, chair of the Board of Health.

An interim health director will be named prior to Dr. Bridger’s departure.