Dr. Robert Karch, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) has named Gissella Suarez, B.N.S., R.N., the new Director of Nursing for DOH-Orange. Gissella will oversee the nursing and clinical staff, training, compliance, and she will be responsible for enhancing nurse practice agency wide. She replaces the former Director of Nursing Kathryn Carpenter.
“I could not be more pleased that Gissella accepted this critical position as our new Director of Nursing,” said Dr. Robert Karch. “Gissella brings a wealth of public health nursing experience to the department.”
Ms. Suarez is no stranger to the Florida Department of Health. She began her career 18 years ago with the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) as a Medical Assistant in 2004. Then she served in different roles at DOH-Pinellas from Nurse Care Coordinator to Referral Center Supervisor to Healthy Start Coordinator.
Since October 2020, Ms. Suarez has worked as DOH-Orange’s Immunizations Program Manager. In that role, she was instrumental to the success of DOH-Orange’s COVID-19 mass vaccination dispensing event at the Orange County Convention Center and the department’s many outreach vaccination efforts with the vaccine storage, distribution, and monitoring. She previously worked at DOH-Orange serving as a Nursing Program Specialist in the Pulmonology clinic and as a Senior Immunization Nurse. In between her time with DOH-Orange and DOH-Pinellas, Ms. Suarez worked as a Primary Care Nurse overseeing case management at the Lake Baldwin Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in Orlando.
Ms. Suarez is a graduate of Universidad del Turabo, Ana G. Mendez University System in Tampa, Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is also a Certified Medical Assistant recognized by the American Association of Medical Assistants. She is currently working on her Family Nurse Practitioner master’s degree. Ms. Suarez enjoys walks on the beach and she loves to draw.