Victoria Hudson is the Director of Environmental Health and Retail Food Inspection Program for the Orange County Health Department. She has been working in public safety and environmental health for 26 years and in local health departments for 19 years. In 2011, Victoria moved to Orange County to work in Onsite Water Protection and provided backup support for the Orange County Health Department’s Lead Program before becoming the Environmental Health Supervisor for both the Food Inspection and Lead programs.
As an entomologist by education, Victoria’s first job was conducting quality assurance in a food lab. While in this position, she was introduced to the USDA inspector and his mentorship sparked her passion for protecting consumers, and as a result, her interest in environmental health. Since becoming the Environmental Health Director for Orange County, it is Victoria’s goal to create a better connection between the Orange County Healthy Homes and Lead programs, and she has been working for the past two years to increase the amount of lead and vector surveillance in Orange County.
In March, the Orange County Health Department acknowledged Lead Poisoning Prevention Month by creating and disseminating educational cartoons about sources and solutions for lead poisoning. Furthermore, Victoria and her staff have been using the lead questionnaire as a way to educate families on getting their children tested for lead. She stresses the importance of providing education on behavioral exposures in addition to property-based exposures.
Victoria admits that many tasks in environmental health do not provide immediate satisfaction and patience is key. She appreciates seeing the positive impacts she’s initiated when a project comes to an end.
She continues, “bringing positive outcomes to people and sharing with the public what we are doing [at the Health Department] is so exciting.”
Victoria enjoys being part of the NC Lead and Healthy Homes Task Force and often feels encouraged when she hears updates from other local programs. She says that hearing others talk about their work makes her feel excited about implementing new ideas, events, and programs in Orange County. Victoria acknowledges the benefit of networking with other Task Force members and she knows there is always someone among the group that can answer her questions.