Maine CDC director: ‘Job No. 1’ is to fully staff agency

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The new director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says his “Job No. 1” is to get the agency fully staffed.

Dr. Nirav Shah’s agency has 55 vacancies, down from 100 unfilled positions under the LePage administration. His boss, Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, has made staffing the Maine CDC one of her top priorities.

Shah tells the Portland Press Herald that he plans to live in the Brunswick area with his wife, Kara Palamountain, a research professor at Northwestern University.

One of Shah’s first actions came in response to an influx of asylum seekers from African nations in Portland. He dispatched seven public health nurses to tend to the immediate health needs of about 200 asylum seekers housed at the Portland Expo.

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