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Faye Reed retired as acting health officer Tuesday, culminating a 38-year career with the Charles County Department of Health.

Reed, a resident of Upper Marlboro, started work at the health department as a nurse for maternity and community health programs, according to a county government announcement.

Having received a masterís in nursing in 1992, Reed was promoted to deputy health officer, the departmentís second-highest position, in 1996. She was named acting health officer in June upon the retirement of Health Officer Dr. Chinnadurai Devadason, placing her in charge of the departmentís approximately 200 employees.

The department will announce Reedís replacement soon, said department spokesman Bill Leebel. He could not say whether that person would be acting health officer or would be serving permanently.

Leebel praised Reedís leadership.

ďIíve worked with her for nine years, and Iím truly going to miss her. She had a management style that was, she was someone who was easy to work with. She kind of dealt with a firm but a fair hand; her door was always open for any of the staff who wanted to come in and talk to her,Ē Leebel said.

Reed left a statement expressing gratitude to Charles County, which Leebel provided by email.

ďI have welcomed the challenges presented to me as Health Officer and Deputy Health Officer of Charles County and trust that the county is a better place because of my efforts. I would like to thank the commissioners, the residents and my department of health staff for the support and assistance I have received over the years,Ē Reed wrote.