Review pinpoints Pender Co. Board of Health problems, members fight over results
penderhealthreview300.jpg

Burgaw, NC (WWAY) - A health department divided. That's how an independent review described the Pender County Health Department. Monday night the Pender County Board of Health held a special meeting to discuss the report sparked by employee allegations.

A former health department director, Wanda Sandelé discussed some of the findings from her assessment of the Pender County Health Department. The review investigated claims of drug use, possible HIPAA violations, discrimination, and overall management of the department. Sandelé found the Health Department provided good public health service but is experiencing difficult times because the administration did not properly handle conflict within the department.

Then the board of health went into closed session. Dozens of employees who showed up to hear the discussion were forced to wait outside. And wait they did. The board asked questions of Sandelé, Health Department Director Jack Griffith and Administrator Gwen Smith for nearly four and a half hours.

County Commissioner Chair Jimmy Tate became so frustrated, he left the meeting. Later Tate said he expected the board to take a leadership role and move forward. Instead he says they, "blamed the commissioners for the current situation at the health department". Tate said he will consider stepping down from the Board of Health.

Several employees stayed throughout the night to show their support for Dr. Griffith. But some say the situation should never have come to this point.

It's like you have spouses quarreling and there is an attempt for one to win the argument," said Dr. Benjamin Akiwumi "The purpose shouldn't be to win the argument. The purpose should be to maintain peace and harmony in an effective environment.

Just before mid-night the board decided they would not take any action.

The board of health would not comment on the meeting or where they will go from here. The health department will undergo two more interventions. The first will involve training in conflict resolution and the Gillings School of Global Health at UNC Chapel Hill will perform an extensive assessment.

View the assessment report

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

first to go, Commissioner Tate. Either he's a member of the Board of Health or he's a County Commissioner. He can do the right thing now or he can wait for the voting public to do it for him when he stands for re-election.

Second, begin the process to bring new blood onto the Board of Health governing body.

The Department provides better than required services. Dr. Jack is a great Health Director.

Create an environment in which he and his loyal staff can succeed even better.

Bring in some of the annonymous folks who made outlandish and apparently false charges about drug use and so on. Time for a reckoning on those who made false charges and time for some acountability.

Bring in some of the annonymous folks who made outlandish and apparently false charges about drug use and so on.
---------------------------------------------
If they were "apparently false" charges, they wouldn't have acquired such momentum, and that is exactly what they should have been trying to ascertain in this meeting, otherwise what are they hoping to accomplish - sit around disagreeing on what actually happened? What a ridiculous waste of everyone's time.

The rest of this post is just your biased opinion about the participants in this sad saga. You must be one of them proving once again why they can't get anything done!

odd that those who made outlandish charges about drug abuse, on this site, admitted later, on this site, they lied.

Odd how that worked out.

But then Guest, maybe you're trying to save your own hide.

Come on. Everybody's not lying. Something happened and it needs to be taken care of. This mess has been going on for a while now. They(managment) need to stop acting ghetto and learn how to maintain professionalism in the work place.