Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health, Jeff Kuhr, named Citizen of the Year
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has named Mesa County Public Health’s executive director, Jeff Kuhr, as citizen of the year.
The selection committee is made up of past winners so Kuhr was chosen by former citizens of the year. During the nomination process, the committee determined that Kuhr has been much more than a public health director this last year amid the pandemic.
When Kuhr took over the reins of Mesa County Public Health, he restructured and streamlined the organization to better address the emerging health demands of our local communities. When the pandemic arrived in early 2020, he leveraged his partnerships and existing community assets to begin fighting what he viewed as not one but two crises, the health crisis, and the economic crisis. The committee felt because of his holistic view and approach, Mesa County was spared the worst of the economic fallout of closures of small businesses and loss of jobs.
While very visible and admired, the Five Star Program is not the only innovative and creative way in which Kuhr managed the double threat to physical and economic health and served the community. Establishing multiple testing sites, standing up the vaccination mega-site, the work he did with Colorado Mesa University and School District 51to keep schools open and learning in person for most of the past year are not just remarkable but unique when compared to the rest of the state.
Kuhr’s approach of finding ways to get to a “yes” for events like our farmer’s markets and high school graduations benefitted each and every one of us here and throughout the county this past year. And let us not forget the nearly nightly TV interviews, weekly newspaper columns, and multiple ways he communicated to us to do what needs to be done to get through this once-in-a-century challenge mostly intact.
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