To her coworkers, Dianne McWethy is the true definition of a public administrator. In her position as the director of the Administration Division for the DeKalb County Board of Health, she has been a vital part of the board’s public health work for its citizens.
|Dianne McWethy (center) celebrates the Administration Outstanding Service Award with GPHA President-Elect Deborah Riner and GPHA President Dr. Kathryn Martin.|
With almost four decades in public service, co-workers said they can almost predict her responses and questions about their projects: “What's the funding source?" "It's best to under promise and over deliver." "Send it to me in writing." "What's your plan?" and "I don't like surprises."
She may not like surprises, but her coworkers decided to nominate McWethy for the Administration Outstanding Service Award from the Georgia Public Health Association (GPHA). McWethy received the award at GPHA’s annual conference in March. The award is presented to someone who has demonstrated exceptional public service by enhancing the fiscal and administrative areas in support of providing public health services to the community.
“I was, not only surprised, but honored that I was nominated by my District Health Director, Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford,” McWethy said. “During the past nine years under the leadership of Dr. Ford, regardless of the situation, she has provided guidance, support, leadership and opportunities for me to expand my knowledge of public health.”
McWethy works with the DeKalb Administration Division team staff, which includes the finance, human resources, internal services, information technology, grants, policy and staff development, internal audits and vital records staff. Her long public health career includes working with district administrators and program managers across Georgia, making her a true expert in the field.
“There is no subject you can present to her that she will not research until she fully understands its implications for the situation,” said Brenda Smith, chief financial officer for the DeKalb Board of Health. “Dianne is loyal and dedicated, and I cannot think of anyone who deserves this honor more.”
McWethy is known not only for serving the citizens of DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Board of Health but also the great laughter and good times she brings to her coworkers.
"Dianne and I have laughed together, cried together and eaten more candy together than any public health professional should ever admit to. I am proud to call her my friend,” Ford said. “Her hard work, dedication, and commitment to the DeKalb Board of Health have been evident since the day she walked in the door."
McWethy acknowledges that while she has upheld the highest standards of excellence as the public administrator, she has not taken herself so seriously that she missed special moments with coworkers and friends.
“Along my 38-year journey in public service, each experience has been a learning experience, but the journey is about the people along that way who touch your life in ways that you never dreamed possible both at work, as well as the citizens you serve.”
McWethy is the second recipient of GPHA’s Administration Outstanding Service Award, which was first given in 2013.