Celebrating employee milestones, establishing a commission dedicated to advancing equity and inclusion for the Latin and Hispanic community, and reviewing health department objectives for the next three years – these were just some of the topics discussed and actions taken during Monday’s regular meeting of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Check out the highlights below.
Recognizing the best and brightest
Each month, the Board of Commissioners welcomes new faces to the New Hanover County team, celebrates career milestones throughout the organization and honors individuals who are preparing to retire following their service to our community. This month, Commissioners officially welcomed six new staff members representing five departments at the meeting. Additionally, they celebrated milestones for employees who reached five, 10, 15, 25 and 30 years of service with the county. And Deputy County Attorney Sharon Huffman was honored as she retires after 16 years with New Hanover County. We are thankful for those who have and those who continue to serve our community. Take a look at some of their photos here.
Hispanic/Latino Commission established
Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution creating the first New Hanover County Hispanic/Latino Commission. This commission is intended to raise cultural awareness and understanding across the county, work to make inroads into Hispanic and Latino populations in the county and act as an advocate to the Board of Commissioners on matters of importance to their community.
According to the 2020 Census, 6.2 percent of the New Hanover County population and 1.1 million people in North Carolina identify as Hispanic or Latino. Vacancies for the commission will be advertised in the coming weeks and will be posted on the Commissioners’ website, followed by the appointment of 11 members to the commission in April.
Community Health Needs Assessment reviewed, priorities set
Staff with New Hanover County Health and Human Services presented Commissioners with information collected as part of the Community Health Needs Assessment completed in 2022, in partnership with Novant Health. This state-required study is done every three years and compiles input from across the county to help local health departments understand areas of concern facing their community and help develop community health strategies to address those needs. The assessment will now be sent to the North Carolina Health and Human Services for final review and approval in March.
Community input and data gathered through the assessment identified housing, mental health and substance use, and overall access to care as the top health-related priorities in New Hanover County. Public Health will develop actionable plans to improve community health based on these identified priorities, and this data will also be used by Commissioners in the development of the county’s upcoming five-year strategic plan.
And that’s not all …
The New Hanover County ABC Board provided its yearly update to the Commissioners. For Fiscal Year 2022-23, the organization did more than $65 million in total sales, allowing for $11.8 million in distributions back to local municipalities as well as more than $500,000 in grants to community partners for work in alcohol and substance abuse prevention.
Commissioners also filled vacancies on various boards and committees throughout New Hanover County. These boards and committees are composed of citizens who volunteer their time to help provide crucial information to the Commissioners during their decision-making process. To see what vacancies are currently available or apply, visit the Boards & Committees page on New Hanover County’s website.
You can view the February 20 meeting here and below. The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is set for 4 p.m. on March 6 and will include the State of the County address.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holds its regularly scheduled meetings on the first and third Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These meetings take place at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse (24 North 3rd Street, Room 301). A schedule of the 2023 meetings can be found here.
All meetings are broadcast live on NHCTV.com, New Hanover County's YouTube channel and Spectrum channel 13. For meeting agendas, minutes and exhibits, visit Commissioners.NHCgov.com.