Bridger named N.C. health director of the year

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

Colleen Bridger, Orange County Health director, received the N.C. Health Director of the Year Award last week.
Given by the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors, the award is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in both public health and in the state as well as involvement in local community and civic activities.
“What makes this award so special is that health directors are nominated by co-workers and the winner is selected by other health directors,” Bridger said. “So it is the people who know you and your work best making this decision.
“I would not have received this award were it not for the amazing team with whom I work,” she said. “It is a joy and honor to work with public health leaders at the health department, on the board of health and throughout the community.”
Bridger has been the county health director since October 2011. Her nomination for the award cited her work on health policies including smoke-free public places the distribution of naloxone, a narcotic that reverses the effects of other narcotics, to counter life-threatening effects of opioid overdoes to creating a culture of innovation in the health department, partnership development and the expansion of clinical services.
Orange County interim Manager Michael Talbert spoke highly of the work that Bridger has done in such a brief amount of time.
“This award is validation of the outstanding leadership Dr. Bridger brings to the table,” he said. “In the short time she has been with Orange County she has implemented sweeping change, which the community benefits from on a daily basis. Now, she has placed Orange County’s health department on the map.”