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Movers & Shakers: New hires at FMA, Enterprise Florida; resignations at DOH, DCF

Another resignation at the Florida Department of Health

Julia Gill, director of the Division of Disease control for the Department of Health, is the latest in long string of high-profile departures from the agency.

Her responsibilities included the bureaus of epidemiology, immunization, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and refugee health.

Gill's division was also spearheading the shut down of A.G Holley State Hospital, Florida’s only publicly run tuberculosis hospital.

Earning $100,000 per year, Gill gave the department one day of notice before her departure. Her most recent performance evaluation graded her work as "above expectations."

Rhonda White, bureau chief of preparedness and response in the Division of Emergency Medical Operaions, will serve as interim replacement. Her current salary is $88,698.74, according to the Florida Has a Right to Know website.

Erin VanSickle joins the FMA

After two years as a public relations consultant for the Florida Medical Association, Erin VanSickle has signed as the group’s new vice president of communications.

Formerly, VanSickle was vice president of Capitol Energy Communications, a firm she helped launch in 2009.

VanSickle’s resume also includes communications positions with the Republican Party of Florida and Florida’s Senate Majority office.

New hurricane center director takes control

Rick Knabb today takes over as director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Center in Miami.

Knabb returns to NOAA after serving as the on-air tropical weather expert for The Weather Channel in Atlanta since May 2010.

Knabb's previous positions include deputy director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu and the senior hurricane specialist and science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Knabb is replacing Bill Read, who retired last week.

Blum-Heintz joins Enterprise Florida

Nancy Blum-Heintz joined Enterprise Florida as the vice president of strategic alignment and communications.

She was previously chief communications officer at the Department of Economic Opportunity.

DEO has not yet filled her position.
Gaetz beefs up staff, hires Gormley

Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, hired Carol Gormley to work in the Senate president's office as his senior policy adviser for healthcare.

She earned about $128,000 per year as staff director in the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee. She will make $140,000 in the Senate, Gaetz said. Her duties will include working with senators and staff directors to form policy on health, an issue that takes up one-third of the budget.

"Carol Gormley has earned a reputation as a leading expert in healthcare policy and healthcare budgeting in our state over more than 20 years, working as a key aide to Governor Bush and more recently as the primary professional staff leader on healthcare in the House of Representatives," Gaetz said in a phone interview.

Gaetz is ramping up his staff in preparation for his new role as Senate president. He said he plans to organize his office as CFO Jeff Atwater did when he was Senate president, hiring advisers for key policy areas.

Other recent hires: Katie Betta, who is finishing her tenure as communications director for the House, will now switch to that role in the Senate.

Gaetz also hired Department of Revenue Director Lisa Vickers as his senior policy adviser. He named Chris Clark, who was an aide to Gov. Jeb Bush, as his chief of staff.

He expects to announce more key positions in coming weeks, Gaetz said.

Child protection director resigns

Debra Ervin is retiring as DCF's Director of Family Safety where she oversaw the agency's child protection efforts for $91,708.76 per year.

She had replaced Jamie Self who resigned in January following allegations of sexual harassment. The Department paid $150,000 to settle the issue without a lawsuit, the Palm Beach Post reported Thursday.

Employee Christie Ferris, who said she felt she would lose her job if she didn’t have an affair with Self, signed a confidentiality agreement, according to the Post.

Movers and Shakers is a weekly roundup of Tallahassee personell changes. Send tips to Brittany Alana Davis at or via Twitter at britt_alana.