Dare League of Women Voters honors Sheila Davies for community leadership

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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Over 50 members of the Dare League of Women Voters gathered for a holiday luncheon and auction Dec. 3 at the Duck Woods Country Club to honor special guest Dr. Sheila Davies. Davies has been the director of Dare County Health and Human Services and the public health director for Dare County since 2014. “Her steadfast service and commitment to keeping all Dare County citizens safe during the pandemic has been exceptional,” stated a Dare LWV press release.

Davies received an Award of Excellence as LWV chair of voter services Lorelei Dibernardo read off a list of accomplishments that included the training of 50 staff members in contact tracing that resulted in 30,100 phone calls to direct contacts of positive cases. She hosted 24 webinars for healthcare worker education; hosted seven mass testing events; produced 101 videos focused on COVID updates for the public along with the online COVID dashboard and opened 51 mass vaccination clinics to immunize Dare citizens. As a result of these efforts, Dare ranked #2 in North Carolina for the number of citizens vaccinated (73% have received at least one dose; 69% fully vaccinated). This was done while maintaining regular DHHS programs and services throughout the pandemic: health and outreach, veteran’s services, WIC and child protective services, stated the release. “She remained steadfast during the worst pandemic in American history with her signature calm demeanor and scientific approach,” the release continued.

Davies stated that the first case of COVID-19 arrived in Dare County on March 1, 2020. Since that first case, she “prepared for duration and intensity.” She credited and praised all departments and her team with the success of their efforts through consistent messaging across health services, police and EMS in coordination with mayors, hospitals and schools.

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In her remarks, Davies said, “I think we will see brighter days ahead. We now have masks, vaccines, and new drugs on the horizon, but it was the turnout for the vaccines that helped us get to where we are. We are at the point where we are mostly monitoring the number of hospitalized and the levels of sickness rather than the number of people dying. When fully vaccinated, the level of illness is greatly diminished.”

“Her ability to deliver facts without fear and optimism without promises stood well on display,” stated the release.

“I am hoping for a paradigm shift by spring through education and testing,” Davies concluded, and her remarks drew thunderous applause.