Derby resident Shane Lockwood has one goal entering his new job as director of health for the : to expand on the legacy and success of recently retired health director Charles Motes.
Lockwood, 40, was named the newest town department head on Monday evening after a unanimous vote from the health district’s board in the meeting room.
He brings 17-years of experience to Southington and Plainville, including 13.5 years working for regional districts in Naugatuck Valley, most recently serving as the Deputy Director of Health for the Waterbury Department of Public Health.
“I’m excited to be given this kind of opportunity,” Lockwood said Monday evening. There are two great towns in a new district here with a lot of potential to grow. I look forward to being leader and have a good example to follow in Chuck Motes. He was a leader in Connecticut and I just hope to follow in his tradition.”
Motes announced his retirement late last year, but stayed on in the role of interim health director since in order to allow the district to find a replacement. He served 12 years as the town’s health director and worked for more than 40 years in the health field.
Members of the board said Monday that Lockwood was a natural choice to replace Motes and brings not only a solid history within health services, but is also an experienced grant writer that could help provide outside funding that could expand on what the town already has.
Southington Councilman John Barry, an appointed member of the board, said there were 14 applicants and five finalists. He said each was strong, but conversations with Lockwood’s employers set him apart.
“Shane was really a standout,” Barry said. “He showed a lot of energy, a lot of new ideas and a great knowledge of what the public health field is all about.”
“We will miss Chuck. He was helpful throughout the selection process and has really stepped up to make sure this would be a smooth transition,” Barry said.
Garry Brumback said he is hopeful that Lockwood could begin as soon as March 12, although the start date remains tentative. He is expected to receive in the range of $84,000 annually, the same salary that Motes was receiving previously, but contract details have not been finalized yet, officials said.
Lockwood is a 1994 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. He began his career as a sanitarian with the Naugatuck Valley Health District immediately following graduation. In 1999, he took a job as both sanitarian and emergency response coordinator with the Pomperaug District Department of Health, where he served through 2008 before moving to Waterbury.
In 2010, Lockwood went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He also carries numerous public health certifications.
Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee, also a member of the board, said he was impressed with the body of work that Lockwood has had over the past several years and believes he is the right man to help meet the district’s needs.
“We needed someone who could not only continue the current level of services, but also improve upon them. We needed someone who was able to work independently, to manage and monitor a budget. He met those needs,” Lee said.
One of the first goals, Lockwood said, would be to find grant funding to help hire additional staff. With the added staff, he said the town could expand on the existing programs. He said health education and promotion would be one of his primary goals.
Motes said although he has not worked directly with Lockwood, the Derby resident comes “very highly recommended” and is happy with the selection.
“His practice has been in a different region, but Mr. Lockwood is someone who I had heard of several times prior to this search,” Motes said. “We’ve already chatted for about an hour and I am comfortable with this selection. The board chose well.”
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