Six new individuals join Stanly’s health board

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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Stanly’s Consolidated Human Services (CHS) board had eight openings filled by the county commissioners at Monday’s meeting.

Of the eight positions, three were people stepping down, while five others had their terms run out. The positions included five general public members, one veterinarian, one social worker and one consumer, which is a person who receives county services.

The vote was tabled at the previous commissioner meeting, but the terms were to expire Tuesday.

Only two of the positions, veterinarian and social worker, were approved by unanimous commissioner votes. Dr. James Link was named the veterinarian and Beth Thomas was reappointed to the board for a four-year term.

Three people were nominated for the consumer position: Heather Carlson, Jocelyn Torres and Seena Koohestani. The first vote had Carlson and Koohestani tied, 3-3, with one vote for Torres.

After two votes, Koohestani was voted to the board, 4-3, with Chairman Scott Efird and commissioners Peter Asciutto, Trent Hatley and Bill Lawhon voting for the appointment. Vice Chairman Mike Barbee and commissioners Patty Crump and Brandon King voted for Carlson. (Note: The previous paragraph was edited to correctly identify for whom Barbee, Crump and King voted.)

Koohestani operates Meaningful Pursuits Counseling, which opened in January.

The only general public spot in which the person previously serving was reappointed was retired physician assistant Kristi Small. She received votes from Efird, Asciutto and Lawhon, with Heather Carlson receiving two votes (Crump and King) and Victoria Ramos (Barbee and Hatley).

Jann Lowder, the outgoing chair of the board, decided not to serve on the board again. Her spot went to Albemarle assistant fire chief Kenny Kendall, by a 6-1 vote. Asciutto nominated and voted for Torres.

In the position previously held by Sherry Poplin, a retired geriatric social worker, Poplin was renominated but received three votes. Dr. Mark Speight was appointed, with Barbee, Crump, Hatley and King voting for the doctor. According to the application, Speight’s specialty is “metal toxicology” and he currently works for The Center for Wellness with locations in Charlotte and Matthews.

Georgette Edgerton, a retired educator, was nominated to continue on the board, but lost to Shaun Morgan. Barbee, Crump, Hatley and King voted for Morgan, the former owner of Servpro in Union County and Sweet Frog frozen yogurt in Albemarle.

In the Larry Gibson spot, the former Richfield teacher and coach was nominated along with retired educator Victoria Ramos and practitioner Jennifer Lehn. Ramos and Lynn tied 3-3 in the first vote, with Gibson getting one vote. A second vote between the two elected Ramos 4-3, with Efird, Barbee, Asciutto and Lawhon voting for Ramos.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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