County finally gets new Health Dept. head

Ga. woman with local ties will replace director who resigned in Dec.

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Jeanne Casner will replace Margaret Rivello as director of the Chester County Health Department, the commissioners said Thursday.

Jeanne Casner will start Aug. 26 as director of the Chester County Health Department, the commissioners said Thursday.

After months of searching, Chester County has a new director for its acclaimed Health Department, the county commissioners said Thursday.

At their regular meeting, the commissioners approved the hiring of Jeanne Casner. She will replace Margaret Rivello, who stayed on as a consultant after retiring from the post at the end of last year. Casner, who presently lives in Atlanta, Ga., will start on Aug. 26 at an annual salary of $108,000.

“The Chester County Health Department is one of the most highly respected health departments in Pennsylvania, and has pioneered many programs that have been recognized and repeated nationwide,” said Commissioners’ Chairman Ryan Costello. “We are pleased to find someone of Jeanne’s caliber to lead the department.”

Casner brings 20 years of health-related experience to the job at the federal, state and local government levels, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, and Keane, Inc. where she was senior public health consultant and business analyst – all based in Atlanta, Ga. She holds a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s in sociology, both from the University of Michigan, a county news release said.

Rivello, who participated in the selection process, said she was pleased the county was able to find someone as experienced and “passionate about public health” as Casner. Rivello explained that Casner would be returning to familiar territory. Not only did Casner do a college internship at the Chester County Health Department, but she only worked for the county for five or six years before relocating to Atlanta. “She’s going to bring a new level of energy,” said Rivello.

Commissioner Terence Farrell also applauded Casner’s selection.  “Jeanne Casner brings a strong background of knowledge and experience to the county position and we trust that, under her leadership, the Health Department will continue to provide programs and services that have established Chester County as the healthiest county in Pennsylvania.”

Farrell was referencing the county’s top rankings in an annual study by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2010, Chester County was ranked number one in Pennsylvania for Health Factors, which represents what influences the health of the county, as well as Health Outcomes, the assessment of the county’s health; in 2011, the county received a top rating for Health Factors, and in 2012, it earned top honors for Health Outcomes.

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone echoed her colleagues’ remarks about Casner and expressed gratitude to Rivello and her staff. “We thank Margaret for her many years of service to Chester County, as well as all health department employees for continuing to provide excellent services to our citizens while a search for a new director was conducted,” Cozzone said.

The Chester County Health Department provides health services to residents and visitors, including public education, clinical, personal health and environmental health programs. To view the full range of programs and services, visit


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