JeffCo’s Public Health director steps down

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Dr. Dawn Comstock has stepped down as Executive Director of Jefferson County Public Health.

The leader of Jefferson County's Public Health department is stepping down. 

The county's health board president said in a statement that Dawn Comstock resigned, and the board accepted it. 

“Dr. Comstock has been a committed public servant, and this board is grateful for her public health expertise and guidance throughout the past year,” said Cheri Jahn, the health department board of health president. "We are grateful for Dr. Comstock's service.”

Jahn said the board would keep the public updated as it assembles a transition team and searches for the next health department director.

Comstock has been in the role for about a year —  the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. She joined JeffCo from an academic position, as a tenured full professor of epidemiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz.

The reason for her departure isn't clear. Comstock didn’t respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Her predecessor, Dr. Mark Johnson, said he’s sorry for Comstock and Jefferson County and wishes Comstock the best. He also acknowledged how the pandemic has made the job more difficult. 

“Public health has never been more stressed than it has been over the past two and half years, and much of this stress has fallen directly and unfairly on local public health department directors,” Johnson said.

Many public health officials have been under intense pressure, and for some —  sharp criticism at times, managing issues like vaccines, masks and other health mandates. Her departure is one of many from local public health agencies in Colorado since March 2020.