Quintana Stewart is now one month into her tenure as the new health director of Orange County.

She said that during her 16 years working in the North Carolina Public Health system, most recently as assistant health director of Forsyth County, she has always considered Orange County a frontrunner in public health.

“Orange County has always been known as the innovators,” said Stewart. “So over the years I’ve watched Orange County, and they’ve been leaders in the public health field.”

Two of the ways that Stewart seeks to continue that tradition of innovation are through staying present in the community and building on already established relationships.

“I don’t know if folks realize how much reach that public health has in the community because we’re always behind the scenes doing different things to ensure the safety of our community,” said Stewart. “So I want to make sure that we stay visible, and I want to make sure we maintain and create stronger partner relationships in the community.”

Stewart has also taken note of the Orange County Health Department’s past work with the Racial Equity Institute.

“Orange County is doing a lot of work around racial equity, and I think that’s important so I’m excited to bring some of my past experience from some of the racial equity work that I started in Forsythe County here to Orange County,” said Stewart.