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Sole finalist for Douglas County Health Department director chosen

Michael Hill was selected to lead Douglas County's new public health agency.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The Douglas County Board of Health announced its choice to lead the county's new health department Saturday.

According to a release from the Douglas County Health Department, Michael Hill is the sole finalist for the position. Hill is currently the Health Agency Director for the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency in California and has previously led public health agencies in Texas, Florida and Illinois, the release said. 

Hill has experience managing existing public health agencies as well as starting a new public health agency, according to the release. 

“We are very pleased to name Mr. Hill as the sole finalist for this position,” Douglas County Board of Health President Doug Benevento said in a statement. “After the Board of Health interviewed him we agreed that he was such an excellent candidate that we wanted to introduce him to additional Douglas County stakeholders this past Friday. The feedback from those meetings was universally positive and we saw no reason not to announce him as the sole finalist immediately,” Benevento said.

Hill holds master's degrees in public health and public administration, the release said, as well as a bachelor's degree in biology. 

The release said the selection of Hill is the result of a nationwide search that produced 40 applicants, four of whom were interviewed for the position. 

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted in September 2021 to leave the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) and form their own public health agency amid disagreements over COVID-19 masking requirements.

RELATED: Douglas County votes to leave Tri-County Health, form own health board

RELATED: Final Tri-County Health member approves resolution to leave

"Our decision to start our own health department has a lot of moving pieces to it," Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas told 9NEWS at the time of the vote. "And probably the impetus was, the mask order is on and then off, and then it's opt-in and then opt-out. But this has been a long time in coming."

Under an intergovernmental agreement, TCHD will continue to provide core services to Douglas County through the end of 2022 while Douglas County forms its new health department. 

RELATED: Tri-County Health will continue to serve DougCo as it works to create own health department