Sunday, August 14, 2022

County hires epidemiologist for Pandemic Operations Center

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The county’s centralized Covid-19 center on Greenfield Street has a new member joining its team.

New Hanover County Pandemic Operations (PanOps) has hired Kansas native Ian Appling to help in its pandemic response and with viral diseases. Appling previously worked as an epidemiologist with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

“Ian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the public health world that will be critical in helping us navigate where things stand now with COVID and any future community or global outbreaks,” Jon Campbell, Pandemic Operations manager, said in a release.

The PanOps Center opened earlier in the year after the county approved $3.7 million of American Rescue Plan funds to concentrate its Covid-19 testing and vaccination operations into one area. The team is fleshed out by 17 positions in administration and clinical work, including an epidemiologist, medical technicians, and public health nurses. 

“[Appling] has a lengthy background in global health initiatives and will work to collect data and analyze trends that will help our team develop strategies to reduce the impact of diseases here in New Hanover County,” Campbell continued in a release. 

Appling attended Kansas State University for his undergraduate and received his master’s in public health from Southern Mississippi. He helped to create and run a women’s health clinic in India focused on cervical cancer screenings. Appling also served in the Navy as a sonar technician.  

The county’s PanOps Center offers Covid-19 vaccines and boosters on Mondays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), Tuesdays and Thursdays (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Fridays (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.). Rapid tests are available Wednesdays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Fridays (9 a.m. – noon).

Around 63% of the county has received the full series of vaccinations while 34.6% have been boosted, according to the county.

Currently, the county is tracking low on the CDC Covid-19 Community Level tool, with 150 cases reported over the last two weeks. The average daily number of patients seen at Novant’s NHRMC are 4.

More information can be found by visiting  Health.NHCGov.com/Coronavirus  or calling 910-798-6800. 


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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