Five-member governing body will set up the new public health department by Jan. 1, 2023
On June 14, the new Arapahoe County Public Health Department reached a critical milestone, as the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners appointed five individuals to the Foundational Board of Health (BOH). Consistent with state statute, the Board of Health—not the Board of County Commissioners—has oversight of the County’s public health department and the responsibility for hiring employees.
Foundational BOH members will focus exclusively on ensuring that Arapahoe County Public Health is operational by Jan. 1, 2023. A general plan for the transition to a single-county health department has already been developed and approved by the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners (BOCC). Among its primary tasks are selecting a public health director, recommending a 2023 budget to the BOCC, and securing employees, property, contracts and leases as needed.
Arapahoe County residents will continue receiving all public health services from the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) through the end of 2022. The Foundational BOH will not make public health orders or make any other changes to public health services until the end of the year.
The BOCC appointed five individuals with staggered terms, consistent with state statute, following an established outreach process that considered 16 qualified candidates from across the County:
Additional information on the Board of Health members is below.
“We received numerous applications for the Foundational Board of Health from deeply qualified individuals, and the three we’ve selected have a wide range of experience in public and environmental health, nonprofits and startup businesses, and they all have long track records of pursuing and attaining equitable services and outcomes in health care,” said BOCC Chair Nancy Jackson.
The first meeting of the Foundational BOH was June 15, 2022. At that session, the BOH selected its officers, adopted bylaws, and named Jennifer Ludwig of TCHD as the sole finalist for the position of Director of the Arapahoe County Public Health department (ACPH).
TCHD and its Board of Health will continue to exercise all powers, duties and responsibilities of a district public health agency for the residents of Arapahoe County through Dec. 31, 2022. The BOCC extends its gratitude for the leadership, service and partnership of TCHD and its Board of Health during the pandemic and through the subsequent transitional period.
For 40 years, Bebe Kleinman has worked and volunteered with nonprofit organizations that address underserved communities in areas including housing, food and health care. She is the CEO of Doctors Care, President of the Board of the Colorado Safety Net Collaborative, Vice Chair of the South Metro Community Foundation, and a member of the City of Littleton Housing Task Force. “I am passionate about supporting and creating a more equitable, just and fair society for all members of the community,” she said. “I continue to innovate solutions to strengthen the nonprofit sector and ensure that everyone has the health care and health coverage they need to live happy and productive lives.”
Dr. Heather N Signorelli is a pathologist who is the Vice President and Chief Laboratory Officer for HCA Healthcare. She ran the COVID-19 testing program for more than 190 hospitals in the HCA system and manages a $1.5 billion health care services operation. She also values the need for better mental health and wellness programs and services. “My main focus is to help build a strong health board process that serves the community,” she said. “I am passionate about all areas of the health of a community which extend well beyond COVID.”
Shawn Davis has worked in public health in Arapahoe County for about 20 years, including with Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) and other nonprofit organizations. He is a commissioner on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Health Equity Commission and a former commissioner in the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. “I have a passion for addressing health, honesty, commitment to equity, and a personal commitment to making the community a better place to live,” he said. “In this role, I hope to give input and voice to underserved populations in Arapahoe County.”
Nancy Jackson is Arapahoe County’s liaison to Tri-County Health and has worked closely on behavioral health services throughout her career. She serves on the County’s Board of Social Services and been a member of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Task Force and the Aurora Mental Health governing board.
Nancy Sharpe also serves on the Board of Social Services, and she’s worked on water quality and wastewater issues and served on the Health and Human Services committee at Colorado Counties, Inc. She’s worked closely over the years with the County’s Human Services Department and brings a keen understanding of the importance of public health in the community thanks to her time as Mayor of Greenwood Village.