DENVER — Thursday, June 13, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today Dr. Chris Urbina, the executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is resigning from his position effective June 28.
“Chris is a true public servant and valued member of our Cabinet,” Hickenlooper said. “We are grateful for his work at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, particularly his support of safe and responsible development of the state’s oil and natural gas resources. Chris also led the department in implementing LEAN process improvements to create a more responsive and effective operation that reduced unnecessary and ineffective rules and regulations.”
Urbina played an integral role recently as a member of the Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force and co-leading the Consumer Safety/Social Issues subgroup of the Task Force. Two years ago, under Urbina’s leadership, CDPHE worked with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to warn the public about a listeria outbreak from cantaloupe. The warnings helped reduce the number of illnesses in Colorado and nationwide. Urbina was quick to visit the Rocky Ford region and helped the cantaloupe industry recover from the outbreak.
“We have a great department of talented and passionate employees who are dedicated to protecting the public’s health and quality of the environment,” Urbina said. “While I am stepping down to explore other opportunities, I look forward to continue supporting the governor and the department on these issues into the future. I also want to thank the governor for the opportunity to serve the people of Colorado.”
Karin McGowan, deputy director of CDPHE, will serve as interim executive director. A search for a new executive director and chief medical officer will begin immediately.