Caldwell County Public Health Director Announces Retirement

LENOIR, NC (July 26, 2017)…Caldwell County Public Health Director, Denise Michaud, will retire from Caldwell County Health Department, effective August 1, 2017. Ms. Michaud has worked in public health for 28 years. During her time at Caldwell County Health Department, she was a Public Health Nutritionist, the Nutrition Program Director, the Assistant Health Director and the Health Director.

Ms. Michaud started her career at the NC Department of Agriculture – Agronomic Division as an Agricultural Chemist where she analyzed soil samples to determine type of additives (ie fertilizer, lime) necessary to optimize crop quality. She later became a Food Service Director where she managed nutrition services for a long-term care facility (food preparation and service, nutrition assessment and related patient care planning).

When Ms. Michaud started at Caldwell County Health Department, she was a public health nutritionist where she provided nutrition counseling for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and was also the breastfeeding coordinator. After five years of being a public health nutritionist, Ms. Michaud became the Nutrition Program Director.

In this position, she administered the local WIC program. During this time, she became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Registered Lactation Consultant (RLC), and earned her Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2001, Ms. Michaud was promoted to Assistant Health Director, where she prepared budgets and financial reports. While being the Assistant Health Director, she passed the Registered Dietitian examination.

In 2005, Ms. Michaud became Caldwell County Health Department’s Public Health Director. According to General Statute 130A-41, the local health director has the power and duty to administer programs as directed by the local board of health, enforce local board of health rules, exercise quarantine authority and isolation authority, enforce immunization requirements, advise local officials concerning public health matters, abate public health nuisances and imminent hazards, employ and dismiss employees of the local health department and enter contracts on behalf of the local health department.

During her time at Caldwell County Health Department, she was a member of the Western North Carolina Public Health Association, North Carolina Public Health Association, International Lactation Consultant Association, North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors, National Association of City and County Health Officials and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was also on the Chronic Kidney Disease Task Force, the NC Maternity Center Breastfeeding-Friendly Designation Review Committee, and was appointed to the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council by Governor McCrory.

In 1992, Ms. Michaud was awarded the Western North Carolina Public Health Association Nutritionist of the Year. In 2004, Ms. Michaud was Caldwell County Health Department’s Employee of the Year.

“I have had the privilege of working with the finest public health professionals in the state,” stated Denise Michaud, Health Director.

“I believe I can speak for the all the staff at the health department that Denise will certainly be missed. Her leadership and friendship has been a true blessing to so many here. Denise has shown all of us what true dedication and passion for Public Health looks like. Over the years, she has challenged us and pushed our agency to become a more efficient, patient-centered agency. We wish her all the happiness and adventure in the next chapter of her life!” said Brittany Dobbins, MPH, CHES, Assistant Health Director.

“Denise Michaud has been a passionate leader who always has the best interest at heart of both the employees she manages and the public that she serves,” says Randy Church, Chairman of the Caldwell County Health Board and the Board of Commissioners. “There’s a bit of sadness on my part, serving as the Chair of (both boards), knowing that we will lose her leadership and guidance which is possessed by a once in a lifetime person like Denise! I have truly made a friend for life and for that, I am grateful to have known and served with Denise in the Caldwell County Health Department.”

“It is with a heartfelt thank you that we see Denise enter this new phase of her life, retirement, in order to spend time with her family,” says Stan Kiser, Caldwell County Manager. “I could always count on Denise to be professional, on top of every issue, always quick to respond to every question and always with a pleasant and even keel. We will all miss her.”