New health director is named

Barrington A. Bogle will assume the position of health director/sanitarian for the town on Tuesday, Oct. 15. First Selectman Bill Brennan made the announcement in a press release on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Mr. Bogle will replace Steven Schole, who left the position Sept. 13. He had been health director since Jan. 1, 1993.

“Barry is an outstanding candidate,” Mr. Brennan said. “He offers the town solid environmental health credentials with experience in a number of Fairfield County towns with demographics similar to Wilton. His most recent position was as the assistant director of health for the town of Darien. In addition, at the start of Barry’s career in public health, he worked for Wilton as an assistant sanitarian for a number of years and as a result is familiar with the town in ways that will make for a smooth transition.”

Mr. Bogle earned a master’s degree in public health from Southern Connecticut State University  in May 2009, an accomplishment achieved while he continued to work full-time.

With the state requiring that health directors have a master’s degree and town requirements for certification regarding septic system installation and food service, “it sets a high bar for the recruitment process,” said Sarah Taffel, Wilton’s director of human resources. The town conducted two searches before it was prepared to move forward with an appointment, she said.

“It’s a position that’s gotten involved with emergency management preparations in town. That’s a vital function in the department now,” she said. Years ago, a health department in a small town dealt primarily with septic systems, well water, restaurants, Lyme disease, and similar issues.

“With 9/11, that really changed the landscape,” Ms. Taffel said. Today, health departments are still involved in all the traditional issues, but now are fully involved in responding to emergencies from epidemics, storms and other threats or disasters. For example, the health department has been closely involved with social services in operating the town shelter.

Mr. Brennan’s announcement highlighted Mr. Bogle’s “innate interest in addressing public health issues with swift but thoughtful and creative solutions along with his commitment to the role of public health education.”