Gibbie Harris, MSPH, BSN, RN

June 2021

Gibbie Harris was named director of the Mecklenburg County of Health Department in October 2017, after serving as the Interim Health Director for three and a half months. Ms. Harris is responsible for managing the Department of over 800 public health professionals and a budget of $72,000,000.  The work encompasses clinical services, preventive health, case management, health partnerships and population health.

Harris was the health director in Buncombe County for six years and in Wake County, serving as the Health Director for 10 years and in other leadership roles in the Department for the previous 7 years.  During her tenure in Buncombe County the County won the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.  Her experiences in both Wake and Buncombe included the facilitation and management of transition from a single county department to a consolidated health and human services organization within the county.  These experiences have provided her with a unique perspective on different models for providing public health services, opportunities to innovatively address social determinants, expertise on assuring public health services within a consolidated agency, ability to meet accreditation standards within a consolidated organization as well as learnings on successful transition.  Her efforts in communities included facilitating the identification of health priorities, convening efforts to improve the health of all residents in the county and leading her community to address public health needs and issues. 

In addition, Harris was the founding Executive Director of the Hospice program in Caldwell County, NC.  In a former life, she was a care provider (nurse practitioner) at a rural health clinic in Wilkes County.  Twenty-nine years of experience working in communities and with State and national partners has led to expertise in improving health outcomes and assuring equity for all populations.  

Harris completed the RWJF Center for Creative Leadership Program, Community Centered Leadership Program in 2014. She was a scholar in CDC’s 2008 National Public Health Leadership Institute.  Harris graduated from UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a Nurse Practitioner’s certificate and from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health with a Master’s of Science degree in public health with a concentration in health policy and administration.