he Platte County Health Department has found its next director.
Andrew Warlen has officially accepted an offer to become the new director. Warlen is currently the director of the Cass County Health Department.
Warlen will continue at his current position with Cass County through mid-October, allowing time for his current employer to search for his eventual replacement.
On Nov. 1, Warlen will begin work with the Platte County Health Department, working alongside current director Mary Jo Vernon. Vernon will retire later this year and Warlen will then officially become the director on Jan. 1.
“The plan is to have him work with Mary Jo until she retires at the end of the year, that way he can learn about our department, programs, services, etc. He’ll take over at the beginning of the year,” Aaron Smullin, public information officer for the health department, confirmed to The Landmark on Monday.
According to his LinkedIn page, Warlen has been employed with the Cass County Health Department in Harrisonville since December of 2019.
In moving from the Cass County department to Platte County Health Department, Warlen will be working in a county population very similar in size. Cass County’s population is listed at 105,700 while Platte County’s population is listed at 104,400.
As first reported by The Landmark a few months ago, Vernon is choosing to retire after 23 years as director for the Platte County Health Department.
First hired as nursing supervisor at the department in 1997, Vernon was quickly promoted to acting director when the then-director retired. By 1998, she was officially named director of the department.
“I have felt honored and privileged to serve the citizens of Platte County in this role,” she told The Landmark.
In retirement, Vernon and her husband, of 11 years, Mickey Vernon, who live in St. Joseph, plan to travel, camp and spend more time with family, including the couple’s six grandchildren.
The Platte County Health Department’s services, currently offered from two locations (Platte City and Parkville), soon will be consolidated to a building at 110th Street and Ambassador in Kansas City.
The 24,000-square-foot building, a former Citicorp daycare center, will offer ample space for the department’s array of services, from an immunizations clinic to a physician and nurse practitioner office offering care to those who are uninsured or rely on Medicaid. The building also will house programs such as Women Infants Children (WIC) while also providing room for administrative offices and environmental health and epidemiology and educational classroom areas for community health education staff.