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Health equity is a top priority for Boulder Health's new director

Camille Rodriguez is the department's first Latina executive director and said it's a responsibility she takes pride in – "I look forward to diving right in."

BOULDER, Colo. — Starting as a public health director for a place like Boulder County is a big job – especially during a pandemic – Camille Rodriguez started in her role as executive director of Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) on June 7. 

Rodriguez told 9NEWS she is excited to continue community-based efforts to increase the county's COVID-19 vaccination rates, even more so now that the more contagious Delta variant is circulating in Colorado. 

"We know that since my arrival about a month ago, I think there’s been 12 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in our community," she said. "We continue to spread the message, the good public health message that vaccination is the way to go to stop community spread." 

In this role, Rodriguez said she is committed to making health equity a priority for the department. 

"Protecting our most vulnerable in the community is so important to me and has been throughout my career," she said. "In public health, we know that where you live and work and play has a great barring on your health, and one of my priorities would be to examine the efforts made so far by Boulder County Public Health to that end, and to ensure that our focus is listening to the people in the community."

RELATED: Colorado has the 4th highest COVID death rate. This doctor says the Delta variant may be to blame

Rodriguez is the first Latina to hold BCPH's executive director position and called that a great responsibility.

"It’s not the first time that I’ve been the first Latina in a position, but it always feels like a great and wonderous responsibility," she said. "I can’t deny that holding that responsibility of my ancestors on my shoulders or to just make the LatinX community in Boulder County proud of me, that’s a great responsibility."

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 77% of eligible Boulder County residents have received a vaccine. Rodriguez said the top priority for the department remains sharing messaging surrounding the vaccine's effectiveness. 

"I’m always concerned if there are any cases, so maybe I’m a little competitive, but I wish we were at zero." 

RELATED: Yes, a fully vaccinated person exposed to the Delta variant could transmit COVID-19 to others

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