The doctor is in.

The Guilford County Health Department has just named a new assistant director who will play a vital role in that department – which has the responsibility of keeping the county’s citizens healthy, monitoring environmental concerns and combating disease.

The department has hired Dr. Iulia Vann, MD, as the county’s new assistant health director.  The person in that position plays an important role in the county’s health initiatives – second only to that of Guilford County Health Director Merle Green.  Traditionally, the assistant director has taken the lead role on many special county health projects and has also overseen many of the operations in the department.

Vann has some very big shoes to fill: She’s replacing former Guilford County Assistant Health Director Ken Carter, who served for 42 years in the department before retiring at the end of February.  Carter was one of Guilford County’s most respected employees and he possessed a great deal of knowledge regarding public health matters. When he attended his last Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting in February, many of the commissioners had high praise for Carter.

Green said on Friday, March 8, that she is thrilled Vann will be joining the department.

Before accepting the job with Guilford County, Vann worked for the Orange County Department of Public Health, where she played a role in forming the partnerships that that department established with the UNC School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and School of Public Health.

An added bonus is that Vann has her medical degree.

Yet another added bonus is that, if any Romanian-speaking clients come in to the Health Department and Vann is around, she’ll be able to help translate: The county’s new trilingual assistant director is fluent in Romanian as well as Spanish.

According to Green, Vann’s experience and leadership will be a big plus.

“She will be instrumental in preparing Guilford Public Health for the next generation of Medicaid managed care,” Green stated this week.  “Her clinical and case-management proficiencies will be key to optimizing the health status of public health patients and the Guilford community in general.”

Vann received her medical degree from the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania and she earned her Master’s in Public Health Analysis and Management from East Carolina University.

She has been published in scientific journals such as the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Some of her work has included research on heart disease.

Green said she has high hopes for Vann but added that Carter and his 42 years of experience will be greatly missed.

“He made major contributions in the area of environmental health, water quality and other areas,” Green said of Carter.

She added that he was working very hard up until his last day with the county.