Mary Currier, the state health officer who has been with the agency since 2010, will be retiring on Nov. 1. Currier has been with the agency for 34 years and was the state epidemiologist before she became the chief of the department. Currier stated that she plans to spend more time with family. It has been a privilege serving in this position for almost nine years. Dr. Currier stated that he has a passion for public health and that he has worked with some of our best people in the country. However, I am blessed with three wonderful grandchildren and a loving family that needs me right now. It’s time for me to pass the baton. “I know that the field of public healthcare in Mississippi is in great hands.” Many legislators were shocked to learn Currier had announced her retirement, despite Currier’s sanguine tone. “What? “What’s the deal?” asked Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory). It’s a disaster. Under her leadership, Currier and the Department of Health received numerous accolades. She was awarded the Nathan Davis Award in 2016 for her outstanding service to government. Currier described the department’s national accreditation as “hugely significant” last year. However, the department has struggled to function under years of budget cuts. The agency decreased the number of public health districts in the state to three in 2017. The agency also struggled to fix a bill that took millions out of its trauma care program. Currier also confirmed to Mississippi Today that she was vacuuming her office floors after she had laid off the building’s cleaning crew. Currier laughed and said, “Well, sometimes we do.” Currier said, “Well, sometimes we do,” and laughed. “Dr. “Dr. “In the time I’ve known and worked alongside her, I found her to have a commitment to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for all Mississippians,” stated Rep. Chris Johnson (R-Hattiesburg), vice-chair of The Public Health Committee. Dr. Ed Barham, the Board of Health chairman, described Currier as a stabilizing force for the agency over the past several turbulent years. She’s had to make tough decisions as the public health landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. Barham stated that she admires her determination and has been a great leader for this agency. After Currier’s retirement, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Deputy State Officer in Health will take over as Interim State Officer. “Her dedication to Mississippi and her knowledge of public health is unmatched. Dobbs stated that she will be greatly missed.