Town Health Director Emma Dragon has submitted their resignation to pursue another professional opportunity. The dates of Dragon’s departure have not yet been made public nor has their next destination. Long-time Public Health Nurse Jennifer Brown will serve as temporary health director and a search for a new health director will begin immediately. Brown was slated to step down on July 16 to begin work on a doctorate degree, and how long she intends to stay in the interim position is not known.
Dragon began work as the town’s health director on November 2, 2020 and adeptly shepherded Amherst through the public health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dragon is a nurse and an EMT, and has a graduate degree in emergency management. They have worked at Cooley Dickinson Hospital since returning to the area in 2011 and have served on the Hadley Board of Public Health. They have also had a position on the Federal Disaster Health Management Team since 2009.