Adams County names first executive director of newly-established health department


AURORA | The newly-established Adams County Board of Health selected Kelly Weidenbach this week to serve as the agency’s first executive director. 

Weidenbach has been acting as the transition director since February, ensuring that the county is ready to take over public health services when the Tri-County Health Department, which has served Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties for more than 50 years, dissolves at the beginning of 2023. 

As a result, Aurora, which sits in all three counties, will have three public health agencies overseeing policy in the city.

Adams County commissioners voted to leave the health agency last fall after Douglas County commissioners first opted out of the department to form their own. In December, Arapahoe County commissioners decided to follow suit.

County commissioners said prior to their vote in October that leaving Tri-County would “give us an opportunity to focus on the specific needs of our residents and invest dollars in the areas that need it most.”

Weidenbach said in a statement to media that health equity is among her top priorities in the position that will serve a minority majority population, which the county said in a news release has “faced compounding issues the new health department plans to address.”

“…We often talk about raising the voices of communities and populations that may have been historically undervalued, underrepresented, and who experience adverse or disproportionate outcomes,” Weidenbach said. “We will also be really looking around recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic — looking at places where themcommunity may have lost traction on important health issues such as mental health, substance abuse, and physical and mental well-being.”

Adams County reports that one in four residents say they are in “poor” mental health and the suicide rate in the county is about 10% higher than the national average. 

Prior to working with the new county health agency, Weidenbach served as the Director of Planning and Information Management at the Tri-County Health Department and worked as an executive director at a health department in Wyoming. 

She has a doctorate degree in public health and health policy and management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in public health in epidemiology from Emory University. 

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