PITTSFIELD -- The Board of Health has promoted Corrinn Shogry, a sanitarian with the city Health Department, to the senior sanitarian post. Interviews will be scheduled next week in the search for her replacement.
Gina Armstrong, city director of public health, said 13 applications were received for the vacancy and six interviews are scheduled for next week.
In her new position, Shogry is replacing Cory Nicholas, who resigned in December.
The department is now approaching full staff strength once again following 2012 during which Armstrong was hired to replace Merridith A. O’Leary, who stepped down in August to accept a similar position in Northampton, and another sanitarian, Colin Sykes, was hired to fill an opening.
The board will, however, lose a veteran board member, Ann Tierney, registered nurse who has served for eight years and is now in a three-year term that is expiring.
"It was an honor and a privilege to serve on the board," Tierney said.
"This is a great board," she said, "with a passion" for tackling public health issues.
Tierney was praised by fellow board members for her knowledge and attention to detail and was given a round of applause for her service at the board’s recent meeting.
The board agreed to send to Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi’s office the name of Dominica D’Avella in nomination as Tierney’s replacement on the five-member board. Board nominations are subject to mayoral and City Council review.
Also Wednesday, the board began its review of two fiscal 2014 budget alternatives presented by Armstrong. One shows a level-funded budget for the current year -- which was set at $530,660 -- and an alternative reflects a 5 percent reduction, as requested by Bianchi from city departments.
Armstrong said a public education program to warn of the dangers of mosquito-borne illnesses and advising how residents can eliminate mosquito breeding areas -- such as in standing water or old tires -- will begin in March.
The educational campaign, she said, will include local cable TV and radio and newspapers, as well as information provided through the schools to parents.
Testing last summer and fall discovered West Nile Virus and eastern equine encephalitis in mosquitos DNA in Pittsfield and other sites in Berkshire County, and officials are planning and early education, detection and treatment efforts.
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