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Dare County News

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Jay Burrus, Director of Health and Human Services, Retiring

Post Date:09/04/2018 3:10 PM

Jay Burrus, Dare County’s Director of Health and Human Services, retired last week after serving in a leadership role for the past 39 years.   

As director of the county’s largest department, Burrus was responsible for both the Public Health and Social Services Divisions of Health and Human Services. He was promoted to this role in 2013 when the two departments were consolidated. The department currently employs 195 people and has a budget of $18.2 million.

“Under Jay’s leadership, the Dare County Department of Health and Human Services is recognized as a leader in the state and one that other counties come to for guidance, “ said County Manager Bobby Outten. “Jay has been a leader and a pioneer for the citizens of Dare County because the well-being of Dare County families and children has always been his top priority.”  

Burrus began working for Dare County in 1976, just a short time after graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in sociology. He became Social Services Director in 1979 after earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.  

“When I first became director, Dare County was still a sleepy community,” said Burrus. “Social Services had 12 people on staff that all reported directly to me. With the population growth over the years, the county has morphed into a rural county with urban tones.”

Throughout his tenure, Burrus has been active at the local, regional and state levels. He has served on numerous boards and committees and was appointed president of the NC Association of County Directors of Social Services in 1989/90. He was named Social Services Director of the Year in 2006 and the Dare County Employee of the Year in 1996.  

Sheila Davies, Director of the Public Health Division of Health and Human Services, has been promoted to served as the County’s Health and Human Services Director following Burrus’ retirement.  

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