Grays Harbor Public Health Director submits resignation effective Dec. 31

Grays Harbor Public Health Director Karolyn Holden will resign at the end of December.

“I’m moving into a new position outside of Grays Harbor County in January and am looking forward to a change in location and pace,” Holden told the Daily World Thursday, adding, “At this point that’s all I’m interested in sharing publicly.”

Friday afternoon the Board of County Commissioners accepted Holden’s resignation and approved the start of a hiring process for a new director. Commissioner Wes Cormier suggested the application process be held open through the holidays, and commissioners agreed the application deadline would come Jan. 8.

In the meantime, Commissioner Vickie Raines said she was advised to talk to State Health Director Dr. John Wiesman “and look at options they have to help us in the interim as we go through the process of gathering and vetting applications, interviewing and hiring.”

At a public health COVID-19 press briefing earlier Friday, county Incident Management Team Commander Leonard Johnson said there would be no conversation about Holden’s departure, other than thanking her for her many years of service. “I do appreciate all her hard work, she is going to be missed,” he said.

Raines said at Friday’s meeting, “I would like to comment that I appreciate the effort and the hard work Karolyn has provided to the county for 30-plus years. She came in following Joan Brewster and had some pretty big shoes to fill, and with her departure we also have pretty big shoes to fill.”

Ross said he congratulated Holden on her “long years of service and wish her the best.” Cormier also thanked her for her service and added, “That’s a long time to work for an entity and give that length of your life to a cause.”