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The original item was published from 11/19/2020 9:15:36 AM to 12/5/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: November 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Pitkin County selects Interim Public Health Director

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Media contact:
Tracy Trulove

Pitkin County, CO - The interim Public Health Director position has been filled by internal candidate and current PH team member, Jordana Sabella. She will officially take the lead when current PH Director, Karen Koenemann completes her transition out on Dec. 4.

Sabella has been leading the Community Liaison effort during the COVID pandemic. As part of the Public Health teams’ transition, Laryssa Dandeneau will backfill the position left vacant by Sabella.

“Jordana has worked with the Pitkin County Public Health Department since its inception 3.5 years ago, and prior to that with Community Health Services. She brings a strong public health understanding to the role, as well experience working with this community and regional partners,” said Jon Peacock, Pitkin County Manager. 

Sabella has a Masters in Public Health and has worked in Pitkin County since 2011, holding a number of different roles. Most recently, she has worked as the Planning, Prevention and Partnerships Manager at Pitkin County Public Health where she oversees the COVID-19 Community Liaison Team, and program and policy work around mental health and substance use. She has led a regional effort to assess the community’s health and address community health priorities, which are currently mental health and healthy housing.  Jordana earned her Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program, and has experience working with the Office of Planning, Partnerships and Improvement at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,  the Institute for Healthcare Improvement on quality improvement in hospitals, and with environmental health organizations. (Photo link here)

“I have worked with Jordana over the past 8 years in various capacities. Not only does she bring a skilled understanding of the art and science of public health to this role, she also brings a cogent communication style and deep commitment to promoting and protecting the health of the community she loves. I am grateful to hand over the reins to such a colleague, and am excited for her and Laryssa to be able to move into these new leadership roles.” Koenemann said. 

Laryssa Dandeneau has served as a COVID-19 Program Administrator with Pitkin County Public Health since early July. She has worked closely with the COVID-19 Community Liaison and Communication Teams on implementing and administering special projects and programs for the COVID-19 response and recovery. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health at Loma Linda University and earned her Master's in Health Education at Texas A&M University. Laryssa has experience working with the United States Department of Agriculture, the San Antonio Health Department on immunization initiatives, the San Antonio Food Bank, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and an accredited Tissue Bank on quality management.

For additional local information on COVID-19, please visit

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