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Crosthwait resigns as NCHD public health administrator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

During their May 25 meeting, members of the Northeast Colorado Board of Health regretfully accepted the resignation of John Crosthwait, the Northeast Colorado Health Department’s (NCHD) district public health administrator.

Crosthwait, who has a long history as both a board member and staff member, has set his last day with the agency as July 8.

“It is with sincere regret that I resign my employment as the public health administrator with the Northeast Colorado Health Department,” said Crosthwait. “I have enjoyed the opportunity that the board of health as afforded me, and truly appreciate the support from each of the board members and the respective counties they represent. It is now time for me to move on and turn the leadership to another qualified individual.”

As a Morgan County commissioner, Crowthwait was appointed to the Northeast Colorado Board of Health in 1998. He was on the board for six years, serving as president from 2001-2003, before leaving at the end of 2004 when he retired from politics.

In April of 2005, Crosthwait returned to NCHD as an environmental health representative. He served in that position until that next September when he accepted the position as the district public health administrator.

During his almost six-year tenure, Crosthwait led the agency through numerous public health challenges such as a large tuberculosis exposure in Morgan County, the rise of skunk rabies across the eastern plains and the H1N1 influenza pandemic. He was also a part of the agency’s 60th anniversary celebration in 2008.

“Please accept my sincere appreciation,” said Crosthwait as he addressed the board. “I hope that I have made a difference in establishing lasting partnerships and maintaining the public trust in the taxpayers’ investment in the Northeast Colorado Health Department.”

Board members also heard about a new recycling policy that was spearheaded by Carmen Vandenbark, NCHD’s environmental health director. Three months ago, as a new director with the department, Vandenbark began looking for ways to cut down on the expenses in her division. She took a look at how much the agency was spending on shredding and thought the costs could be pared down.

“Our agency is required through HIPAA regulations to shred certain information,” said Vandenbark. “We’ve contracted with an outside source for years to do this, but it was becoming apparent that we were paying to shred materials that didn’t necessarily need to be shredded, which was increasing our costs. When we started looking at the information that legally needed to be shredded, it was obvious that our staff could handle that in-house.”

With the confidential materials taken care of, Vandenbark still felt the agency could do something with all of the other paper that was being thrown away. After looking at what recycling options were available, Vandenbark received help from Rick Schulte, the composting and recycling supervisor at Sterling Correctional Facility.

“Mr. Schulte gave us a lot of information and provided the parameters for the recycling program at his facility,” said Vandenbark. “Based on that information we were able to develop our own policy recycling paper, plastic, newspapers and cardboard and utilize Sterling Correctional Facility as the collection site.

“This was a great opportunity to not only save some money, but to also make an impact on our environment,” continued Vandenbark.

In other business the board learned of new staff hires and promotions which include Mel Bustos, who has been promoted to the environmental health program coordinator; Tammy Hort, who has been promoted to the assistant director of nursing and Immunization coordinator; Korena Saenz, nurse practitioner, who has been hired for the Family Planning program; and Megan William, who has been hired as a community health nurse in Morgan County.

Holyoke Enterprise June 9, 2011