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Dr. Chris Urbina confirmed as Executive Director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today applauded the Colorado Senate for confirming Dr. Chris Urbina as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.


The Senate confirmed him with a vote of 24 to 9.


Urbina, a native of Pueblo, was the Director of Denver Public Health at Denver Health, where he was responsible for expanding the reorganization of public health services toward a more community-oriented approach while preserving the outstanding public health clinical services.


In his new role, Urbina will also serve as the state’s Chief Medical Officer.


Urbina had worked for Denver Public Health since 2004. While there, he developed close working relationships with many community organizations, City agencies and local leadership in Denver and throughout Colorado. Most notably, he established a strong partnership with Denver Environmental Health to create a functional public health and environmental health department for the City of Denver.


He is the Co-chair of the statewide initiative known as the Colorado Public Health Improvement Plan-From Act to Action. The 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 state 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.


Urbina 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 worked for the New Mexico Health and Environment Department as a district health officer.


Urbina continues to teach introductory public health courses at the Colorado School of Public Health and at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is the current president of the Colorado Public Health Association and served as a board member for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Denver Metro, the Denver Foundation and at Clinica Tepeyac, in addition to being involved in numerous other local health organizations.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and a 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.