BENTON TOWNSHIP — The Berrien County Health Department is seeing another one of its top officials leave this year.

Nicki Britten, health officer for the BCHD, on June 24 announced her departure from the department effective July 9. She is taking a job at Spectrum Health Lakeland as the director of population health.

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is expected to appoint Courtney Davis, deputy health officer, to serve as interim health officer while the county conducts a formal search to fill the position permanently.

“This change in leadership will not impact the department’s ability to continue providing exceptional service to the people of Berrien County moving into the future,” said Bob Harrison, a Berrien County commissioner who is the chair of the personnel and human services committee and sits on the county’s board of health.

Britten has served as health officer since January 2017 and has been with the department for 12 years.

“Nicki showed tremendous strength in leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic for the ultimate benefit of the health and safety of our communities,” said Peg Kohring, chair of the Berrien County Board of Health. “We sincerely thank her for the many years of service she dedicated to this department and wish her the best in her pursuit of new opportunities.”

The county board requested Britten attend their July 8 meeting so they can present her with a certificate of appreciation.

BCHD Spokesperson Gillian Conrad said Thursday Britten’s new role at Lakeland is very public health-oriented and she will continue to work closely with the health department.

Davis was hired as deputy health officer in July 2017. She has more than 15 years of public health education and experience, and led the health department’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout this year.

Harrison said Davis is a trusted leader who has the confidence of the county board.

Britten’s departure marks the second high-ranking health department official to leave their post this year.

The BCHD recently hired a new medical director, Dr. Rex B.G. Cabaltica, after the retirement of Dr. Rick Johansen.

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