Date appointed: 1/5/11
Senate Committee hearing date: January 27, 2010
Senate Committee hearing vote: Passed Committe vote, 7-2
Senate vote date: February 7, 2010
Senate vote: Confirmed - 24 to 9
Salary: $215,000 including CMO position
"Dr. Urbina is uniquely qualified to oversee all aspects of the Department of Public Health and Environment,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “He is a physician and public health expert who knows Colorado and knows how to build consensus on complicated issues. Chris also has extensive experience finding community-based solutions that involve the environment, systems and policy changes. He will serve our state well."
Urbina, a bilingual native of Pueblo, serves Colorado as the Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Public Health and Environment. While often the Department was led by a separate Executive Director and a Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Urbina ably serves both roles. He is uniquely qualified for these two huge areas of responsibility.
As Director of Denver Public Health from 2004 to 2011, Urbina lead the expansion and reorganization of public health services to a more community-oriented focus, while preserving outstanding public health clinical services. He established a strong partnership with Denver Environmental Health to create a functional public health and environmental health department for the City of Denver. Dr. Urbina continues to be a leader in developing close working relationships in Denver and throughout Colorado.
Among his many awards, he was selected as one of the Best Doctors in Public Health and Preventive Medicine by 5280 Magazine in 2010. He was awarded the First Champion of Change in Healthcare Advocacy by Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios in 2009-2010.
Dr. Urbina was co-chair of the statewide initiative known as the Colorado Public Health Improvement Plan - From Act to Action. This ambitious plan sets the course for the creation of a cohesive public health system in Colorado, engaging rural and urban local public health agencies and the Department of Public Health and Environment to create a more uniform and effective service
model and to use resources efficiently.
Urbina’s work on this initiative has led to strong working relationships in all parts of Colorado.
He earlier worked in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico, holding positions of Associate Chair and Associate Professor. He also served the New Mexico Health and Environment Department as a district health officer.
His numerous community involvement roles have included serving as the Chair on the Wellness and Tobacco Prevention Committee, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, member of the Cardiovascular Disease and Chronic Pulmonary Disease Program Committee.
Urbina continues to teach public health courses at the Colorado School of Public Health and at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has served as president of the Colorado Public Health Association and a board member for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Denver Metro, the Denver Foundation and at Clinica Tepeyac, in addition to involvement in many other local health organizations.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He completed a family practice residency at the University of New Mexico and earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. Urbina is board certified in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
About the Department Public Health and Environment:
The mission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is to protect and improve the health of Colorado’s people and the quality of its environment.
The Department is led by the Executive Director who oversees the Divisions of: Air Pollution Control, Hazardous Material and Waste Management, Water Quality Control, Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology, Prevention Services, Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services, Laboratory Services, Environmental Health and Sustainability; Center for Health and Environmental Statistics, and Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response.
In addition, the Department serves the Colorado Board of Health, the Air Quality Control Commission, the Water Quality Control Commission, and the Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission.