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Public health director resigns to accept position in Yolo

Public Health Director Mimi Hall is leaving Plumas County to lead the public health department in Yolo County. Photo submitted

Plumas County Public Health Director Mimi Hall has accepted a position in Yolo County and will begin leading that county’s public health department July 24.

Hall submitted her letter of resignation to the board of supervisors June 7 and announced subsequently that her last day on the job in Plumas would be July 18.

During an interview last week, Hall shared her excitement about moving on to a new challenge, but also sadness at leaving an agency that she has overseen since 2008.

“They are really a forward-thinking county with regard to health and human services,” Hall said of Yolo.

She said she will be joining a “wonderful team” led by Karen Larsen, the county’s director of Health and Human Services, and Ron Chapman, the county health officer, as well as work with a board of supervisors that is committed to public health. “They have demonstrated that they are mission-driven and service-oriented and there will be an opportunity to make more of an impact.”

But Hall has made an impact on Plumas County. When she took over leadership of Public Health, the agency had just $6,000 in its cash account. The fund balance now stands at approximately $2 million, which Hall said would cover the agency’s operating expenses for six months.

“Financially, organizationally and programmatically, it’s really going strong,” Hall said of her department, and added that it’s part of the reason why she feels comfortable leaving.

She also has a transition plan for the agency and provided it to the Plumas board at the request of Supervisor Mike Sanchez.

“I’ve made a recommendation that the board not look for an interim director; Andrew is well qualified,” Hall said.

Andrew Woodruff is the newly named assistant director and has been working with long-time assistant director Karla Burnworth, who is retiring June 30.

Hall said that she is confident that the department can carry on after she leaves. “This is by far the best group of people we have ever had here.”

Since announcing her plans, Hall said she has heard from a number of people who are happy for her because of this new opportunity, but sad to see her leave the county.

“I think I can speak for the whole Board of Supervisors that we are sad to see Mimi Hall go,” said Board Chairman Lori Simpson. “She has done a phenomenal job over the years as the Public Health Director.”

Simpson said that in addition to her primary role, Hall has taken on Veterans Services and Senior Services, served as Director of Mental Health for a short time, as well as being the department head for Environmental Health.

Hall’s impact hasn’t been limited to working within the county agencies; she has been at the forefront of improving health and welfare across Plumas in a variety of projects.

One such example is 20,000 Lives, which brought together public and private agencies, community members and the schools to work on health and wellbeing for all Plumas County residents.

“Mimi has done great things to improve the health care of the residents of Plumas County,” said Tom Hayes, the CEO of Eastern Plumas Health Care. “I will miss her leadership on behalf of the county and especially for our hospitals.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Plumas District Hospital CEO Jeff Kepple, who said, “I have loved working with Mimi. She is smart, a good listener and a wise steward of resources. Most importantly, Mimi has an experienced grasp on what it looks like to make a meaningful impact on the health of the citizens she serves. I will miss her greatly.”

On the state level, Hall is the vice president of the County Health Executives Association of California and is its legislative chair.

“Mimi has cultivated state and national networks that have been invaluable over the years and she understands all the complexities of funding streams and regulations,” Simpson said.

Leaving Plumas

Hall said that her decision to leave wasn’t easy. “I love this community so much.”

Which leads to the question that everyone inevitably asks, “What about your family?”

Hall and her husband, Thom, and their three high-school age children are very involved in the community from sports to the Star Follies.

“I’m probably going to get an apartment first and get to know the area — check out the school districts, etc.,” she said, adding that could mean Woodland or Davis. Woodland, where Hall will be working, is a three-hour drive from Quincy. She will return on weekends and her family will join her there as well. “I already drive to Sacramento on a regular basis, so it won’t be that much different,” she said.

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