At the annual Missouri Alliance For Local Public Health Agencies (MOALPHA) and Missouri Public Health Association (MPHA) conference in Columbia Missouri in September 2019, Margaret Curry, Administrator with the Scotland County Health Department was honored for her role in public health, her mentorships with other public health professionals, and her overall lifetime achievement. 

Curry has been the administrator of Scotland County Health Department for 25+ years and will be retiring December 31, 2019.  Prior to serving as an administrator Curry was a home health aide working in Scotland County.  Curry had a vision for public health in Scotland County, and has led the agency into the future during times of financial hardship, infrastructure hardship and increasing cultural barriers. 

During her tenure with Scotland County Health Department Curry was a member of a regional collaboration that launched the first health educator program in Northeast Missouri, she has maintained a multi-county environmental contract, she has launched a local not for profit support foundation for cancer patients, she has worked with a regional consortium to bring electronic medical records to local health department/home health agencies, and she formed the first MRC (Medical Reserve Corp) in Scotland County.

With regard to infrastructure, she has moved the agency from a dilapidated building, to a rental office space and finally into a new state of the art facility that includes space for forensic interviews with children. She and her staff have been involved with creating an outdoor walking trail (Tiger Trail System) and outdoor classroom behind their school district, as well as the Scotland County Fitness Center.

In 2019, just prior to her retirement, Curry aided the agency in passing an increased mill tax that will help the agency maintain the facility and services long after her retirement. 

Margaret has been a leader and a mentor among her peers. 

“Margaret was one of the first administrators to hire me 20 plus years ago,” said Lori Moots-Clair, Administrator with the Knox County Health Department. “She pushed me beyond my comfort zones and helped build me into the administrator I am today.  I’ve learned from her, admired her and will feel the loss of her retirement.” 

“Margaret has been an instrumental part of the Northeast Missouri LPHA Administrator’s Network and we salute her and unanimously agreed at our September 6, 2019 meeting that she should be recommended for a public health lifetime achievement award,” said Audrey Gough, administrator with the Shelby County Health Department.

Moots-Clair added that Margaret will be missed in the public health world or Northeast Missouri—but has earned a wonderful retirement.