Angie Hittson

Angie Hittson was appointed the new director of the Franklin County Health Department Tuesday.

“I’m excited,” Hittson said after the county commissioners approved her appointment.

She takes the place of Conn Roden, who retired last week after serving 14 years in the position.

Hittson has worked for the health department almost six years, serving as the director of the Women, Infants and Children program and an administrative supervisor for Roden.

A registered nurse, Hittson has worked in nursing for 14 years and graduated from a nursing school in St. Louis. Hittson, who grew up in Hermann, worked in St. Louis as a nurse and did travel nursing as well.

She said moving the health department into a new facility is one of the bigger projects on the horizon. The county hopes to start remodeling the former county prosecutor’s office in downtown Union for the health department in June.

The new facility should alleviate space constraints in the current building, which the health department has occupied since 1991. County officials have estimated the project at around $415,000.

In addition, Hittson said she hopes to increase the health department’s community outreach, such as working with schools for immunization clinics.

Dealing with state and federal budget cuts to the health department is an ongoing challenge, she said, adding that she will oversee 13 employees.

Preventing the spread of disease is the health department’s biggest role, she said.

Hittson will make $2,131 biweekly. She was appointed through Dec. 31 when she will be up for reappointment.

Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said the health department will be in “good hands” with Hittson in charge.

Griesheimer noted that Hittson showed professionalism when she ran the health department for a period when Roden was absent.