Jacque Revello, director of Teller County Public Health & Environment, was ousted from her position last week by the newly sworn-in county commissioners, acting as the Board of Health.
“Public health is going in a different direction with our public health director,” said Commissioner Dan Williams, speaking at the board’s Jan. 21 meeting. “We do thank her for her service, 10 years.”
Without stating a reason for Revello’s departure, Williams continued. “We are in a difficult time right now in our county, our country and our state with some of the medical challenges and the supply chain of vaccines,” he said. “I want to reiterate that the life, health and safety of our citizens is paramount. And the vaccination clinic has been going smoothly.”
Later in the meeting, following Williams’ announcement, the commissioners re-convened as the Board of Health. “We have lost Jacque Revello, the director of public health & environment,” said county administrator Sheryl Decker.
Within 24 hours of Revello’s departure Jan. 19, the county posted a notice for an interim director. “We are in desperate need of leadership and we need to make sure we have someone at the helm,” Decker said.
Of three applications, the county officials selected that of Martha Hubbard, who led the department from 2012-2017. “She has willingly offered to come out of retirement and resume her duty as the director, pending an appointment,” Decker said, adding that Hubbard joined the department in 1995.
Recently, Hubbard has been working as the lead on the county’s contact tracing team. “So she is aware of what we’ve been doing with our COVID planning and all the people who are involved,” Decker said. “I think she’ll be a good fit. She is not interested in long-term employment; she does enjoy being retired.”
There are “quite a few” vacancies in director positions throughout the state, said Commission Chair Bob Campbell. “This is a process where we can continue operations on a short-term basis,” he added. “This gives us time to find a long-term proper individual who will be a permanent replacement. With the COVID pandemic, we need day-to-day management and we thank Martha for stepping up.”
Currently, the public health office is holding vaccination clinics on Wednesdays and Thursdays. As of last week, 920 residents had been vaccinated with 100 vaccines administered every week. “People are coming in now for their second dose,” Decker said.
The vaccine allocations from the state to Teller County have fluctuated from 200 one week to 100 the next week, Decker said. “We’re using all of the vaccines that we have. We have a waiting list and have turned in a request to the governor’s office for 500 doses.”
According to the Teller County website, vaccines are currently being administered to first responders and essential workers, 1a, and 1b, followed by those 70 and older. “We’re working with Safeway to make sure that those get out, too,” Decker said.
As well, Peak Vista is also administering vaccines, Decker said.
After the meeting, Campbell cited the state statute stipulating that the public health director serves at the pleasure of the county or district board. “This doesn’t have anything to do with medical knowledge,” Campbell said. “This is not a medical issue.”