Fulton names interim health director

Fulton County has named a temporary replacement to lead its troubled health department.

Dr. David Sarnow, hired just last month to be deputy health, now will be interim health director. He replaces Dr. Patrice Harris, whose last day was Wednesday.

County Manager Dick Anderson said Sarnow has “demonstrated strong leadership skills at every turn” during a 20-year career in public health.

Sarnow will lead a department that has come under fire in recent months for having to return nearly $9 million in federal HIV funding because it failed to meet spending deadlines. The county later received about $3.4 million of the money back.

In August Harris announced she would retire at the end of the year. But this week she abruptly announced she would leave immediately. The county is conducting a full audit of the department, which is due soon.