Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — The Washington County Board of Health has recommended WCHC Chief Nursing Officer Andrea Leyden to replace outgoing board member Chris Grier at the start of 2023.
While the official appointment decision will be made by the county’s Board of Supervisors in January, the recommendation makes Leyden very likely to take the position.
Washington County Public Health Director Emily Tokheim said each person interviewed was promising, but that Leyden was the best fit.
“She has a health background, which is wonderful, and her energy and insight as a board member were something that really set her apart for us,” she said. “She had a good vision for supporting both environmental health and public health.”
Leyden, for her part, said she was excited to have the board’s support.
“We have a strong board, a lot of the members have held their position for quite some time,” she said. “To be able to join the board now, I feel confident that I can help serve, and really, they can give me a lot of guidance. They’ve done a great job.”
As a leader figure at the hospital, Leyden said she hoped to keep the two institutions on the same page.
“Washington County Hospital is also a county facility, so being able to be on a public health board, I think, really brings unity to the two,” she said. “It helps us collaborate and strategically move in the same direction.”
Health officials said they informally interviewed four candidates for the position before making their recommendation. Board of Supervisors and Board of Health Member Jack Seward Jr. said the high community interest was promising.
“We have a lot of different committees, commissions and boards that we’re supposed to find people to serve on, and typically we have trouble coming up with people, recruiting them,” he said. “To have this many candidates is a good thing, and I hope this continues for all of our other boards … this is a good problem to have.”