Marie Peoples has been named the new director of the Cole County Health Department.
Peoples, a long-time Jefferson City resident, was one of 30 candidates for the job.
At her introduction to department staff on Tuesday morning, Marc Ellinger, Cole County presiding commissioner, said Peoples stood out above the other candidates from the start.
"Marie very rapidly rose to the top and set a bar that no one else came close to reaching," he said.
Peoples has worked for the Department of Health and Senior Services for the last four years in the role of chief of primary care and rural health.
She received her master's degree in public health and is nearing completion of her doctorate in public health. In her role as director, Peoples will be responsible for planning and directing public health programs and will coordinate activities to ensure the department is conforming with state and public health programs.
Peoples will begin her duties Nov. 1.
"This position touches all 75,00 people in the county. Helping the community is vital, and I look forward to working with the people in the county and department," she said.
Chris Wrigley, Western District commissioner, told the staff at the department that he and the commission appreciated their flexibility and dedication through the change over and last several months.
Peoples replaces Jane Hubbs, who held the post for 10 years and left in September to accept a position in St. Louis.