New Hanover County names new public health director
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — After a national search, New Hanover County has appointed David Howard to serve as the new Public Health Director within the Health and Human Services agency beginning April 6.
Howard began serving as interim director in January after the county fired Phillip Tarte as the director due to leadership, performance issues. Prior to that, Howard was the county’s assistant public health director since December 2017.
“During the county’s COVID-19 response, David has been integral in providing sound advice and guidance to county leaders and to the community,” County Manager Chris Coudriet said. “He is a trusted leader who creates a collaborative environment that drives innovation, excellent customer service, and transparent community engagement for Public Health. I believe New Hanover County will benefit from his expertise and his passion to improve the health of all our citizens.”
Before becoming Assistant Public Health Director for New Hanover County, Howard served as Health and Human Services Agency Director and Health Director for Bladen County, Health Director for Hyde County, and in other public health preparedness, nonprofit leadership, community engagement, and health education roles. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing from UNC-Wilmington and a Master of Public Health from UNC-Greensboro.
Howard currently serves on the North Carolina Public Health Association’s Executive Committee and is a Governing Council member, and serves on the North Carolina Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Testing (PFAST) Network Stakeholder Advisory Board. He is a long-time resident of New Hanover County and has been active in the community over the years.
“My being chosen to lead our public health team and serve alongside our very dedicated staff is both an honor and privilege,” Howard said. “I have been a local resident for many years, and watched New Hanover County grow by leaps and bounds, and am truly excited to see how we grow and improve together into the future. I look forward to working across our entire community and accomplishing great strides in health and well-being for everyone, in every walk of life.”