Dr. Angela Dunn named executive director of Salt Lake County Dept. of Health

Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah state epidemiologist. Image: news conference live stream

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, April 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and the Salt Lake County Board of Health on Tuesday announced the appointment of Dr. Angela Dunn as executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Dunn, who currently works at the Utah Department of Health as the state’s epidemiologist, will replace Gary Edwards, who is retiring in July after 16 years with the department and 40 years in public health.

Dunn will begin work on June 1, working alongside Edwards to facilitate a smooth transition.

“I’m excited to join one of the nation’s most respected local health departments,” Dunn said in a prepared statement. “I’m honored to serve the people who live and work in Salt Lake County, which is also my home, and I’m looking forward to working alongside the amazing public health professionals in Salt Lake County.”

Wilson said in the statement she is happy about Dunn’s new position.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Dunn to Salt Lake County in this critical role at this historic time,” Wilson said. “Dr. Dunn is a household name due to her strength and expertise demonstrated at the state during COVID, but she is equally knowledgeable and committed to all aspects of public health.

“Dr. Dunn has a broad range of clinical, public health and epidemiologic experience that will ensure the department continues to be a leader among local health departments nationwide. She will be an amazing addition to our county team.”

Dunn had become well known to the Utah public after appearing at numerous televised news conferences regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, first with Gov. Gary Herbert, then with Herbert’s successor, Gov. Spencer Cox.

The Utah Department of Health issued the following statement:

“It’s hard to overstate the truly life-saving contributions Dr. Dunn has made to Utah’s COVID-19 response. Whether it was her steady voice at the press briefing podium, or her capable leadership at the table where decisions are made, Dr. Dunn was always a champion for the health and wellbeing of Utah residents.

“While we are sad to see her go, we look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Dunn in her new role. The residents of Salt Lake County are fortunate to have her.

“The State of Utah, the Utah Department of Health, and all Utah residents owe Dr. Dunn, and her family, a debt of gratitude for her service over the past 15 months.”

Dunn received her medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health in epidemiology from San Diego State University.

She joined the Utah Department of Health in 2014 on assignment from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an epidemic intelligence service officer and has served as state epidemiologist for UDOH since 2018.

“Dr. Dunn brings not only public health expertise, but also an understanding of Salt Lake County’s public health needs,” said Dr. Dot Verbrugge, chair of the BOH. “She has been a reliable and trustworthy public health leader in our community, and we look forward to what she will bring to Salt Lake County. The Board will continue to work collaboratively with the department and county leadership through this important transition period to ensure that the health of Salt Lake County residents remains the primary focus of all that we do.”

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