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Submitted by Joe Mauceri on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 12:27am.

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Pender County Health Department called an emergency meeting to discuss an interim health director and full-time replacement for Dr. Jack Griffith. Griffith, who plans to retire at the end of next month, returned to work after taking time off for medical leave. Board members elected a committee to begin the search for his replacement. Then the board went into closed session. They would not say what was discussed, but in a letter to the Board of Health, Griffith described an incident that he claims "put a dental student from UNC at risk to HIV." Griffith says Nurse Shirley Steele did not follow a doctor's orders and as a result, the student received "a very risky medication." He also criticized Chair Roberta Bost for defending Steele and downplaying the incident. Griffith also said Bost had been acting as Health Director even though she is not qualified for the position. But after the meeting Griffith said he and Bost were moving forward. The board responded with a vote of confidence for Griffith through the remainder of his service. In the letter, Griffith recommended suspending Steele, but he did not take any action after the incident. Griffith says he has several personnel matters to clear up before he leaves at the end of September.

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