Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) is pleased to announce that long-time BCHHS employee and leader, Dr. Ellis Matheson, will take the helm as Buncombe County’s Public Health Director.
Dr. Matheson began her public health career in 2000, serving as a public health nurse in Henderson and Buncombe counties. In her time with public health, she has provided direct patient care, worked in communicable disease nursing, and most recently as the Director of Nursing and Clinical Services Coordinator for BCHHS since 2014.
Ellis is active with many state and national public health associations. She has served as the President of The North Carolina Association of Public Health Nurse Administrators and led the Shield of Protection Immunization Coalition. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership from East Tennessee State University in 2016.
BCHHS Director, Stoney Blevins, has known Dr. Matheson for many years. Speaking confidently about the appointment, he states, “Dr. Matheson has been a steady, robust leader in the agency and our region for many years. We are very fortunate to have this happy transition occur within our own ranks. I truly look forward to the continued growth and contributions of this organization under her leadership.”
Public Health protects, prevents, and promotes the health of our community through different programs focused on food and environmental safety, prevention of illness by assuring access to social determinants of health and promoting policies to improve community health along with community partners. The local health director is responsible for enforcing public health laws within their jurisdiction and may employ a number of legal remedies when public health laws are violated. In addition to overseeing local health department operations, they are a key stakeholder in organizing efforts to promote and protect the public’s health.
Ellis has lived in WNC for 43 years and is a mother of two children. In addition to being a music enthusiast, she enjoys spending time with her family and hiking with her husband and dog. Ellis says, “I’m excited to support public health in this new role along with our amazing workforce and community partners to strengthen our community by advancing health, safety, and opportunity.”