Board appoints new chief operating officer, health department director

June 20, 2014

Marissa Madrigal, left, and Joanne Fuller named to posts.

On Thursday, June 19 the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners appointed Marissa Madrigal as chief operating officer and director of County Management and Joanne Fuller as director of the county health department.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury began by saying some kind words and called this time “a little love fest” for Madrigal and Fuller.

“We are so lucky in Multnomah County to have Joanne Fuller,” said Kafoury. “She’s one of our most experienced leaders.”

Since Fuller joined the county in 1988, she has led in the Department of Community Justice, the Department of Human Services and served as chief operating officer. In November of 2013 she stepped in as interim health department director.

“Throughout a very difficult time she has been leading our health department during a time of immense uncertainty and transition,” said Kafoury.

District 2 Commissioner Loretta Smith called Fuller the “Bionic Woman” because of her experience and understanding of the county.

Fuller will continue her work with health care transformation, and focus on the health department headquarters and health disparities that members of the community may face.

“I’m very happy to see you both in this position,” said District 4 Commissioner Diane McKeel. “You both stepped in a very difficult time and moved us forward with our work and did it with such inclusiveness and grace. We really appreciate that, but also your long term commitment to Multnomah County.”

Before becoming the first Latina to serve as chief operating officer, Madrigal worked as chief of staff to the chair and then stepped in as chair interim in September 2013.

Her experience at the county taught her that the most important thing in making decisions is to provide the right information at the right time, and that’s what she plans to do.

“I view the role of chief operating officer and director of county management not only as responsible for the day-to-day efficient operations of the county, but also as a position that must provide a free-flow of information – the right information that’s timely and relevant to the chair and the board so the best possible decisions for the county and community can be made,” said Madrigal.

“The best is yet to come,” Madrigal said.