WESTMINSTER — When Gill Chamblin takes over as the new public relations director for Carroll County General Hospital, she plans to build community confidence in the hospital and its services.
"I am really excited about the opportunity at Carroll County General Hospital," said Chamblin,44. "This is the best community hospital in the state in terms of working with people and expanding technology. I want to build the community's confidence in the hospital and its services."
She said she would work closely with hospital officials and the community to identify needs and develop specific programs.
Chamblinwill replace Sue Willingham as the hospital's public relations director, effective Oct. 28.
Willingham, who had been in that position for more than four years, left in early September to have her second child.
"Carroll County is a growing community with a mix of rural and suburban populations," Chamblin said. "When you have an influx ofpeople moving into the area, they really do not know about the community hospital and the services it has to offer.
"My primary responsibility will be to support the hospital staff and satisfy the needs of the community," she said.
Since 1990, Chamblin has worked as community relations director for the Howard Health System Inc. in Columbia, the parent company of Howard County General Hospital.
"I havedone the community newsletter, hospital newsletter and written a series of 'advertorials,' which are in-depth feature stories on physicians, technology and staff," she said.
From 1983 to 1990, Chamblin was director of public relations for Howard County General.
"At thehospital, I produced the employee newsletter and patient brochures,"Chamblin said.
"During the majority of those years, I was workingwith the development campaign to raise money toward the planned expansion of the hospital.
"I kept the community abreast of the $28 million expansion, which lasted three years and doubled the size of thehospital."
Chamblin, originally from Allentown, Pa., graduated from Central Catholic High School there in 1965.
She attended Marywood College in Scranton, Pa., for two years, before returning to Allentown to attend Muhlenberg College in 1967.
"My family was there, and I was working part-time at the Call-Chronicle, a daily newspaper in Allentown. I worked for the Sunday section, doing social and feature stories," she said.
Chamblin left Muhlenberg College in 1968 to move to California when her husband, Larry, an Army reservist, was called to active duty during the Vietnam War.
In 1971, the family moved to Prince George's County, where her husband had accepted a position teaching history, English and American studies at Canterbury School in Accokeek.
"In 1973, we moved to Columbia, where he accepted a position in the public information office for the Maryland State Department of Education," she said.
In 1974, she enrolled at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1977.
Chamblin, a mother of four, went to work in 1979 as a health and business reporter with the Howard County Times and the Columbia Flier before moving to Howard County General to work in public relations.
"I really enjoyed writing about healthand business issues while at the Flier," she said. "When the position at Howard County General Hospital opened, I pursued it."
"At Howard Health System Inc. I did more corporate PR," she said.
"I wanted that contact with the people and the patients again," she said of seeking her new job. "You can see the benefits of what you are doing.It's much more one-on-one.
"CCGH attracted me because of its caring reputation."
More than 60 people applied for the job, and Chamblin was one of 10 applicants interviewed by the hospital.
"There were a number of good candidates and it was a tough decision, but Gillhad the combination of experience and initiative that we were seeking," said Linda Harder, CCGH vice president for planning and marketing.
"Her record was very impressive, most specifically her work at Howard County General Hospital," she continued. "She also came with superb references. . . . I feel we are very fortunate to have someone of her caliber."
Chamblin served as president of the Maryland Hospital Public Relations Society in 1990-1991 and has been an officer anda board member of the society since 1986.
Chamblin, her husband and their children, Kevin, 23, Douglas, 22, Emily, 17, and Matthew, 15, live in Columbia.