Little Ricky: the sequel

Y'all remember Little Ricky Diaz, right? The 24-year-old with no experience to whom Pat & Aldona gave the $85,000 patronage job?

Well, of course, Little Ricky left back in January, having polished his resume and stoked his own personal brand to obtain a PR job in Washington.

With DHHS continuing its incompetence and miserable failures, under the incompetent and failed leadership of Queen Aldona, the agency desperately needed some communications spin, so they've finally hired someone new.

Kendra Gerlach is joining the state Department of Health and Human Services next week as its new communications director, replacing Ricky Diaz who resigned in January.

Gerlach, 42, most recently was the senior marketing manager at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, according to her LinkedIn profile. She will make $110,000 a year.

Yeah, she'll make a cool $25K more than Little Ricky, but in a departure from her standard hiring practices, Queen Aldona has actually hired someone who apparently knows what she's doing.

Gerlach is a native North Carolinian with 15 years of experience in healthcare public relations and five years experience as a newspaper journalist, according to DHHS. Before working for Emory, Gerlach worked at Atlanta Medical Center and New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. She is experienced in healthcare crisis communication and has been trained at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

I'm not sure why Ms. Gerlach wants to work for Queen Aldona, especially after the exodus of high-level competent people who just couldn't take it any more, but I'm sure Ms. Gerlach will have plenty of opportunities to put her healthcare crisis communication training to good use. After all, healthcare crises are pretty much the main events at Wos's DHHS.

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Begging the question

So, this position has been vacant for about 10 months. Which begs the question -- no, make that two questions:

  1. Why did it take so long to fill this position (hint: would YOU want to work for Queen Aldona?)
  2. If we somehow got by for nearly a year with no DHHS Communications Director, do we even really need one at all?

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

With so much emphasis on

With so much emphasis on hiring PR people to manage their spin cycles, it seems that DHHS has gotten North Carolina's motto backwards: To seem rather than to be.