Smithfield Herald

Health director receives statewide honor

Dr. Marilyn Pearson, director of the Johnston County Public Health Department, has been named Health Director of the Year by the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors.

The association honored Pearson for her leadership and commitment to the health and well-being of Johnston County.

After seven years as a physician at the Johnston Health Department, Pearson became health director and medical director. In those roles, she oversees services provided in the department’s clinics for adult care, pediatrics, epidemiology, maternity care and family planning. In addition, the Health Department offers vaccines and nutrition, environmental and health-education services.

In 2013, Pearson led the expansion of the Health Department as it added behavioral-health services.

The association said Pearson’s work with other health partners in Johnston County to strengthen the medical safety net for the uninsured and underinsured was a key factor in the award.

She was recognized also for her extensive service on boards and committees, including the Living Well Partnership of Johnston County, the Johnston County Schools Agency Round Table, the Partnership for Children and Project Access of Johnston and Harnett Counties. Her statewide associations include membership on the Community Care of North Carolina Board.

Pearson received her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her internship and residency in family medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Her coworkers at the Health Department nominated her for the award.