Health Director Colleen Bridger announced this week she will resign Feb. 23 to take a new job in San Antonio, Texas.
Bridger will begin her new role as public health director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District – the nation’s seventh largest city health department – on March 6.
It was a difficult decision to leave, Bridger said in a news release.
“I love the Board of Health, the Board of County Commissioners, and most of all; the Health Department staff. They make my job easy, fun, and fulfilling. It is because of the great work we have done in Orange County, that I am ready for this next big challenge,” Bridger said.
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She has led the Orange County Health Department for more than five years, implementing such programs as the comprehensive Smoke-Free Public Places Rule, the Family Success Alliance anti-poverty program, the town-gown high-risk alcohol collaborative, and overdose prevention and harm reduction projects, including naloxone access and safe syringe disposal and acquisition.
“With Colleen at the helm, Orange County has been able to adopt and implement many progressive policies and programs,” said Liska Lackey, Board of Health chairwoman. “The Board of Health and health department’s dedicated staff are committed to continuing her legacy in our search for the new director.”
Bridger plans to complete the health department’s reaccreditation and budget processes before leaving.
The Board of Health will post the vacant position and seek applicants early in the new year. An interim health director will be named before Bridger leaves, health officials said.