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MOHAVE COUNTY - A senior Mohave County department head is finishing up a public health career that spans almost four full decades.

  Department of Public Health Director Patty Mead is retiring early next month.

“This was a very difficult decision for me to come to as I’ve loved this job. It’s my passion,” Mead said. “Not many people can say that at the end of a career.”

Mead says her career began in 1979 at Loma Linda University hospital in California. She signed on with Mohave County as a Nursing Services manager in 1995, three years before she was promoted to head the department.

The Lake Havasu City resident noted that her county tenure has been filled with rich and rewarding professional experiences. Aside from the day to day effort to improve service delivery she has handled a number of challenging public health emergencies across the county, ranging from bio sludge in Fort Mohave to septic contamination at Lake Havasu.

Mead noted that her profession changed dramatically following 911, with health departments, agencies and entities gaining “a seat at the table” for emergency management and preparedness.

“We’ve done a lot of things that are good things in Mohave County and I think we’ve tried to help improve the health of our community, which is our vision statement,” Mead said.

Some 32 people have applied to fill her position and she said her successor will inherit a top notch organization.

“I feel really good about leaving a fully accredited health department,” Mead said.”They are an amazing group of people. They will make anybody proud so I leave the county in good hands with a wonderful group of people who are really dedicated to public health and improving health for all people in Mohave County, visitors and citizens alike.”

Mead said she is going to spend her first couple of months of retirement relaxing at home, devoting more time to hobbies, her husband, kids and six grandchildren. She said she plans to explore some opportunities to still dabble in the public health arena in the future.

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