Sue Birch, executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, announced Monday that she will be stepping down from her post, becoming the fifth high-level member of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration to signal their departure from state government since June.

Birch will leave her position in November to become the Health Care Authority director for the state of Washington.

Birch was one of the final remaining members of Hickenlooper’s cabinet who have been in place since the Democratic governor took office in January 2011. Hickenlooper is term-limited and will leave office in January 2019, meaning that this trio may represent just the beginning of the flood of people who will be searching for new jobs before a new governor is elected and likely brings their own cabinet in with them.

Her exit follows that of Department of Labor and Environment executive director Ellen Golombek and Department of Transportation executive director Shailen Bhatt, both of which have come since Sept. 28.

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