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Preventive medicine physician hired as Pitt County Public Health director


John Silvernail


The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A preventive medicine physician who has spent the last seven years with East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine has been hired as the new director of the Pitt County Heath Department.

Dr. John L. Silvernail will begin his job with the county on July 1, assuming the position vacated by longtime Health Director Dr. John Morrow, who retired in December.

The deal had been finalized on Monday.

In April, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners voted 8-1 to offer the position to Silvernail, who was recommended by the Pitt County Board of Health.

“The decision to hire Dr. Silvernail was unanimous,” Board of Health Chairman Dr. Keith Ramsey said.

The offer included an annual salary of $227,122 plus an annual travel allowance of $7,000. Silvernail also will receive leave accrual at the five-year level.

Silvernail served with ECU’s Brody School of Medicine as the medical director of occupational and corporate health for Vidant Health and as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He holds a master’s degree in public health/preventive medicine from the University Of Albany School Of Public Health and a medical doctor degree from Albany Medical College.

In addition to his tenure with Brody, Silvernail also brings experience in emergency preparedness. While livingin New York, he served as the director of the Public Health Emergency Epidemiologist Program for the State Department of Public Health.

He has worked in the areas of urban search and rescue, fire prevention and control, and hurricane preparedness and response. His deployments to disasters such as the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, are among his numerous response and recovery experiences.

Silvernail will be responsible for a nearly $12 million budget. He will direct the work of more than 130 public health staff whose mission is to protect, promote and assure the health of all people in Pitt County.