It was an emotional farewell as representatives from the Plumas Public Health Agency said goodbye to two longtime coworkers at the regular Board of Supervisors meeting Dec. 18,
Public Health Agency Director Andrew Woodruff shed a few tears as he said he must say goodbye to two incredible public servants, Linda DeWolf and Edie O’Connor.
Linda DeWolf didn’t launch her career in nursing until she moved to Plumas county in 1984 from Paso Robles. “It was not until 1989 that I started my journey to become an RN by enrolling in, at the time, the Plumas-Sierra Vocation LVN program,” she said. “I graduated in 1991 and started working at the Plumas Community Clinic, which Edie O’Connor started in 1988.”
DeWolf went on to Butte College where she joined the LVN-RN program in 1994. She became a registered nurse the following year. “I started working as a fill-in clinic nurse at Public Health in 1993 and became a permanent employee in 1998 and the rest is history,” she recalled.
DeWolf said she thought the biggest change she’s seen at the department is being able to bring so many needed programs to the county. For example, the home visiting/First 5 program for infants-to-young children and their families. This program provides education, resources, and support to at-risk populations, she said. “To me that is the shining star for the department.”
Another great thing that happened was just this past year when Public Health became one of the first rural Public Health Departments to become accredited, which has high standards that must be maintained.
Woodruff stated that DeWolf has “worn quite a collection of hats,” during her time with the department. He said she has been an incredible leader among the team in the health department. He also called her steadfast.
Edie O’Connor began her career in Plumas County as a physician’s assistant to start the Plumas Community Clinic. Later she worked with Dr. Lawrence Price, and then joined Plumas District Hospital’s physicians’ program.
It was in 2001 that she started working at the Plumas County Public Health Agency.
“Over the years we have added the ability to test for more and more infections,” O’Connor said about her role in the department’s reproductive and sexual health programs. “We can check on site for HIV and Hepatitis C,” she said.
“We now have many more birth control options: pills, patches, rings, shots, intrauterine devices (three kinds) and the implant that goes into the arm,” she listed. “We have free male and female condoms now.” And the program has two kinds of morning after pills.
“Also, we now have Gardasil shots to combat human papilloma virus (HPV). We now know that HPV causes more mouth and throat cancer than tobacco! HPV also causes cervical cancer and, yes, anal cancer,” O’Connor explained.
O’Connor said that she’s loved serving Plumas County for so many years. “I will miss all my patients so very much.”
Woodruff stated that O’Connor has worked with “nearly a generation of men and women when and if to have children and doing that with privacy and care.”
Director of Nursing Linda Venable said that she’s enjoyed working with O’Connor over the years. “You show pride in your work,” she said.