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home : news : news December 15, 2019

11/9/2019 1:11:00 PM
Lincoln County Health Director To Retire
Maggie Dollar cuts the ribbon at the Open House for the new location for the Health Department last year.
(Lincoln Herald File Photos)

Maggie Dollar cuts the ribbon at the
Open House for the new location
for the Health Department last year.

(Lincoln Herald File Photos)


Lincoln County Health Department
Press Release


LINCOLNTON, N.C. - With almost 34 years of service to Lincoln County, the Lincoln County Board of Health announced November 8 the upcoming retirement of Health Director Maggie Dollar effective February 1, 2020. Originally appointed on March 3, 1986, Ms. Dollar has earned the statewide distinction of serving more years in the same Health Department than any other health director in North Carolina.

"We regret Ms. Dollar is leaving this important role she has faithfully and successfully carried out for so long, but we have known for quite a while that she was ready to make this personal choice for herself and her family,” said Board Chair Kathy Caudle. "Ms. Dollar could have retired 8 years ago but chose to stay on to help the department attain the long-time goal of building a new state-of-the-art facility for the Health Department staff and patients, which was accomplished with their move to Gamble Drive in April 2018. After remaining for another year to get settled in to the new facility, she feels this is the right time to retire and bring a new generation of health leadership to the department and county."

A state wide search will be conducted for her replacement, with candidate interviews and hiring conducted by the Board of Health. The position will be posted beginning November 8 on the county website www.lincolncounty.org.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as Health Director for Lincoln County and my decision to retire is of course with mixed emotions.” said Ms. Dollar. “I will miss the people I work with and the many opportunities and challenges that working in the public health field offers. However I am confident in the ability of the next generation of public health workers to carry on our mission to prevent and protect the health of all citizens in Lincoln County.”

In addition to traditional health department preventive services and control of communicable diseases, over the years Ms. Dollar has expanded the department’s county-wide services to improve health outcomes and quality of life such as Home Health, School Health, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening, Adult Health, Prenatal Care, Women’s Health, WIC, Jail Health, and Rabies Control. She hired the first-ever Public Health Social Workers to provide Case Management for at-risk children and pregnant women, and after 9-11, she implemented the county’s first Public Health Bioterrorism Team trained to assist in emergencies and disasters with medication distribution and staffing of shelters with public health nurses.



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Working in a small rural county with limited resources, Ms. Dollar has also been a leader in helping, through collaboration with others, to develop new non-profits organizations throughout the community to help increase access to health care, especially for the vulnerable populations. In 1996 as a charter board member she helped bring the state’s “Smart Start” program to Lincoln County through creation of the non-profit “Partnership for Children of Lincoln and Gaston Counties” designed to help day care centers prepare pre-school children for Kindergarten so they are “healthy and ready to learn.” To this day, the Partnership provides health consultation and education to staff and children enrolled in all local day care centers and child care homes.

She also served as a founding board member of Lincoln Dental Health Services, a non-profit which in 1999 collaborated with the Lincoln County Dental Society to establish the only non-profit dental clinic for indigent children in the county. Funded initially by a start-up grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation, Lincoln Dental Health Services still operates today in Doctors’ Park near the Health Department in Lincolnton.

Ms. Dollar also was a charter member of the “Helping Hands Free Clinic” Board of Directors which in 2002 saw the need for more medical services for the indigent and uninsured, and again through grant funding and recruitment of various health professionals to serve as volunteer staff, helped open the county’s first and only primary care free clinic. It is still operated today as the non-profit “GFHS Lincolnton Family Medicine” located next door to the new Health Department on Gamble Drive.

As county Health Director, Ms. Dollar has also provided leadership for many other community-based programs. She was Chair of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council for 12 years and supervised the Lincoln County Group Home for at-risk teens…has been a member of the Allocations Committee of United Way, Polio Chair for the Lincolnton Rotary Club, Chair of the American Heart Association, founding member of the Lincoln County Child Fatality/Child Protection Team in 1991 and of the City/County Methamphetamine Response Team in 2004 (now the Substance use Coalition).

She has held numerous positions of responsibility statewide as well, serving from 1996-1999 as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors; as Chair of the Health Director Section of the NC Public Health Association; and is an ongoing member of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of City and County Health Officials.


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