When I started working at our agency in 1992 (doing risk assessments for state superfund sites) I never dreamed that one day I’d have the honor of serving as the agency director. Quite honestly, I never had a goal of being the director- but somehow it just happened. This has been an awesome job.
We’ve made tremendous progress in so many areas. Accomplishments that change and save lives every day in Arizona. From making it more convenient and quick to get a birth certificate, to saving hundreds of lives a year with our cardiac arrest initiatives, to overhauling our healthcare institution and childcare licensing programs, to building a behavioral health system focused on measurable outcomes, and literally hundreds of other system improvements- we have a lot to be proud of. And we had fun along the way.
Improving public health outcomes really does take a village. The village includes our agency team (of course), but our community partners and Stakeholders who work with us and truly care about improving outcomes and the quality of life of Arizonans. Those partnerships are the absolute key improving public health outcomes.
As I reflect back on the last 6 years, it’s our people and relationships that will mean the most to me. Not just the friends I’ve made here at the agency, but the friendships and partnerships that we’ve made, maintained and improved. I will always be grateful for those relationships.
Careers have a lifecycle. Figuring out when it’s time to turn the page and to move on to something else is a hard thing to do. That time has come for me. After a lot of thinking I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on to something else… and Friday I let the Governor know that I’ll be signing off my post on March 3. I’ll keep you updated over the next couple of weeks regarding who will be named Interim or Permanent Director of our agency.
I don’t have any exact professional plans yet. I think I’ll just catch my breath for a while and see what turns up- but I’m sure it’ll be in public health in one way, shape, or form.
Thank you for your friendship, trust, dedication, and teamwork.