Andrea Carlstrom

Chaffee County Public Health director Andrea Carlstrom announced April 12 she had been approached to represent the Fifth Congressional District on the Colorado State Board of Health.

Carlstrom has been the director of the county’s public health department since August of 2015 and has served as the county’s incident command for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

A formal recommendation for the board of health appointment is set to be made to Gov. Jared Polis by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

From there the recommendation would go before the state Senate.

The formal appointment could be made as soon as the end of May and Carlstrom’s term would be for 5 years.

As a member of the state board Carlstrom would engage in rulemaking on topics such as the Amendment 35 settlement funding for health care services and tobacco education, additional program opportunities to meet the health and wellness needs of Coloradans, and environmental health issues.

The state Board of Health meets every third Wednesday monthly to listen and learn about specific public health related topics and programs and then votes in the future meetings on outcomes Carlstrom said.

Carlstrom said the recommendation for the appointment is “quite the honor,” and one she does not take lightly.

“I look forward to representing Colorado’s rural communities, making sure that we have a voice at the table and that decision-making takes the rural perspective into consideration,” she said.

In addition, she said she will be representing the field of public health, as other board of health members come from diverse backgrounds.

“This is a critical time to strengthen our public health system, and I am encouraged that this appointment will be one part of that effort.

“I will take personal responsibility and accountability to make sure that decisions are made in the most informed, fair and thoughtful way possible,” Carlstrom said.

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