Catawba County News

Health director honored

Health director honored

Published: June 10, 2022


HICKORY, NC — Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken was awarded the 2022 Ron H. Levine Public Health Award at the annual North Carolina Public Health Leaders Conference on May 19 in Raleigh. McCracken, alongside other health directors from across North Carolina, was recognized for her hard work and dedication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ron Levine Legacy Award is a prestigious award named for former North Carolina State Health Director Dr. Ron Levine. Since 2004, 28 individuals have been similarly honored for their distinguished efforts to improve our public health system, expand the scope or capacity of public health services, or build new and lasting partnerships.

“Our public health directors served as the backbone of the COVID-19 response and they continue to be the frontline defenders for the health and wellbeing of everyone in their communities,” said Beth Lovette, Deputy Director and Section Chief, Local Community Support, North Carolina Division of Public Health. “They are all so deserving of this award, and their dedication and commitment to their residents is an example for us all.”

McCracken joined Catawba County Public Health in 1998, serving children and families as a nurse on the Early Childhood Support Team. Since that time, she has served in various leadership roles, including Assistant Health Director. She was named Interim Health Director in October 2019 and Health Director in March 2020, just as COVID-19 began affecting our community.

“I have been honored to serve the families of Catawba County throughout my career and receiving this award after a career-defining pandemic that brought out the best in both me and the Catawba County Public Health team is especially meaningful,” said McCracken. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge challenge for public health, but one that showed just how important Catawba County Public Health is to the community.”