Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
The Washington County Public Health office held a send-off for outgoing Director Danielle Pettit-Majewski, who held the position for nearly nine years.
Pettit-Majewski called the change “bittersweet.”
“I’m excited, but getting through COVID, I’m exhausted,” she said. “I’m sad about leaving some of the best people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, I’m excited for the new opportunity. It’s a mixed bag.”
Despite her excitement, the outgoing public health director said she would be leaving unfinished work behind, a fact she regretted.
“There’s a lot of things that I would have liked to have been able to accomplish before I left, but this is an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” she said. “I think every local health department is in this same position, so I don’t think that Washington County is feeling any differently than others would be after the last year and a half that we’ve had.”
While her position in a new community will boast an array of new problems to tackle, Pettit-Majewski said she had the outlook and the tools to handle them.
“Even though a lot of programs might be different, the thought process that you bring to public health is the same,” Pettit-Majewski said. “It’s all about collaboration, it’s all about building partnerships, it’s all about looking forward and how you create opportunities for the best health outcomes.”
Pettit-Majewski remains optimistic about those challenges, whatever they may be.
“It’s hard for me to predict exactly what will be different,” she said. “I think it will be an opportunity for me to learn, for me to grow, and to get to work with a whole new group of people.”
The position description for Johnson County’s public health director states that they must live in the county within 6 months of starting. Pettit-Majewski will begin Aug. 18, according to a news release from the department.
Pettit-Majewski said she did not yet have an exact time in mind for that move, which would end her position on the Washington City Council.
“When I know, I will make that clear,” she said. “I have not made a decision, and I do not have a time frame.”