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Carol Paluck named Jefferson County Public Health director of patient services

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Carol A. Paluck has been selected to be the director of patient services for Jefferson County Public Health Service.

The resident of Constableville, Lewis County, was selected from among nine applicants and will begin her new job Monday. She said she is looking forward to taking the position, which has a focus on home-based services and long-term health care.

“It’s something I’m familiar with,” she said.

Public Health Service Executive Director Ginger B. Hall said Mrs. Paluck’s many years of experience as hospice coordinator, prevention supervisor and interim director of Lewis County Public Health would fit well with the director of patient services position.

Aside from the home-based and long-term care services, Mrs. Paluck will be responsible for oversight of maternal/child health visits and prevention- nursing clinical services.

“Part of that is keeping up with all of the changing rules regarding home care, especially with changes of health care reform,” Mrs. Hall said. “We participate with the New York State Home Care Association, and they keep us up to date on what’s going on.”

Mrs. Paluck will assist the agency in working toward attainment of accreditation, which focuses on quality improvement, Mrs. Hall said.

Mrs. Paluck commended Jefferson County officials for organizing her new position in an efficient way to manage such services.

“I think this was probably a good move on their part,” she said.

The director of patient services position currently is filled on an interim basis by former Director Jean A. Bilow. Ms. Bilow will work with the agency through this month to help with the transition.

Mrs. Paluck, who worked at the Lewis County Public Health Agency for the past 29 years, was named interim director of that agency in February 2009 and was appointed to the director post in March 2011. The appointment was made contingent on her obtaining a master’s degree, on which she is still working.

Following Mrs. Paluck’s April 19 resignation, Lewis County legislators named Penny A. Ingham, longtime executive director of the North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, as the interim public health director.

The Lewis County agency essentially was cut in half in January when its home health care and hospice programs, and 20 employees in those programs, were moved under the auspices of Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville.

Mrs. Hall said Mrs. Paluck will go through an orientation process, which should last about four weeks.

Another agency management position — supervising public health nurse — is open, but Mrs. Hall said she is not recruiting for that position yet.

Times staff writer Steve Virkler contributed to this report.

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