The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners (Board) has taken its latest step toward forming a single-county health department by clarifying its intention to depart the multi-county Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) partnership after Dec. 31, 2022. The Board’s approval of the Dec. 14 resolution is a necessary procedure in the County’s efforts to establish a single-county health department. County residents will continue to receive all public health services from TCHD until a replacement health department and new board of health is approved and established.
The local public health agency has served the County’s residents by providing no-cost cancer screenings, overdose prevention, free nurse visits, restaurant and childcare facility inspections and much more during the long and productive partnership. “Arapahoe County is indebted to the TCHD staff for the first-class health programs and services the agency has provided to millions of residents over the course of our partnership,” said Arapahoe County Board Chair Commissioner Nancy Jackson. “While many residents were unaware of the scope of a health department’s duties prior to COVID, over many decades TCHD’s employees have shown a deep commitment to providing these services. They are a first-rate example of how public health services should be modeled and we will continue to work with them over the coming months to find a workable solution for all involved parties and stakeholders.”
Earlier this year, Douglas County established its own board of health, leaving the partnership with TCHD. In October, Adams County adopted a resolution indicating that it plans to leave the partnership on Dec. 31, 2022, making it necessary for Arapahoe County to explore its future options and develop a transition plan to form its own single-county public health department that will deliver the quality public health services the County has received during the 55-year partnership with TCHD.
By law, all Colorado counties must have a public health entity in place at all times. The Board will determine how to best continue serving the health needs of our residents in the coming months. The County is considering several options for providing public health services to its residents—including potentially receiving health services from the TCHD entity as another type of governmental or non-governmental legal entity—starting in 2023, under a new governance model.
Until a new single-county health department is established, TCHD will maintain its longstanding statutory authority to issue public health orders and ensure compliance with public health regulations in Arapahoe County, such as those for childcare centers, restaurants and pools.
Arapahoe County will use the following guiding principles as we consider options:
Information about the public health department process is available at www.arapahoegov.com/health, and County residents, community partners and other stakeholders can get the latest updates on the new health department, as well as on other critical County projects, by signing up on our website.