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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: January 11, 2017
DHSS-01-2017





PUBLIC HEALTH NAMES NEW OFFICE OF ANIMAL WELFARE LEADERSHIP: PATRICIA BLEVINS TO JOIN AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Dover, DE (Jan. 11, 2017) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today the hiring of Patricia Blevins as the new Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) Director. Blevins, an animal advocate for many years and one of the strongest supporters for overhauling and improving the statewide animal welfare system, will join DPH on Jan. 30, 2017, as OAW executive director. Hetti Brown, the original executive director, resigned the position in December 2016 to move to the Midwest.

Blevins, while most well-known for her work as a state senator, has nearly 20 years-experience in managing personnel and agencies, including nine years as executive director of the Delaware Helpline and three years managing the Denison Branch of Girls, Inc. She also served on the Elsmere Town Council and as Mayor of Elsmere.

In 2012-2013, Blevins chaired the state Animal Welfare Task Force, which reviewed the effectiveness of animal control programs in Delaware, as well as examining strategies to increase spay/neuter programming and animal cruelty investigation and prosecutions. For background on the Task Force, visit https://animalservices.delaware.gov/about/history.

"We are so thrilled that Patti Blevins was willing to join us," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "She has the combination of leadership, budget, and management experience, plus a deep knowledge about the Delaware animal system and its strengths and challenges that we need. We were sorry to lose Hetti Brown and wanted to fill her shoes with someone who will continue to chart this new path. As one of the original architects of the constantly evolving animal welfare system, Blevins is the perfect replacement."

Founded in 2013, the Office of Animal Welfare is committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of companion animals, and dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond in the state of Delaware. It offers a variety of programs and services, including:

A list of OAW accomplishments to date include:

For further information on the DPH Office of Animal Welfare, visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/oaw/oawhome.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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