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New Manatee health department director appointed

MANATEE — Manatee County commissioners approved today the recommendation to appoint Dr. Jennifer Bencie Fairburn as the new administrator of the county health department.

Fairburn, who was raised in Michigan, has worked in Florida since at least 1996 when she served as executive director of the Orange County Healthy Start Coalition.

Her work experience includes several positions with various local health departments, including assistant director in Orange County, acting administrator in Miami-Dade County and administrator in Seminole County.

The 1988 graduate of the Universidad Autonoma, in Guadalajara, Mexico, has taught at the Florida State University College of Medicine, where she also served as the hospital liaison to the Florida Department of Health Division of Emergency Medical Operations.

Fairburn’s most recent position was with the Florida Department of Health, where she was the director of the Division of Emergency Medical Operations.

The doctor, who is fluent in Spanish and who has family in the area, replaces Dr. Gladys Branic, who retired as director of the local health department in June.