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Public Health - News

Posted on: September 17, 2020

JCPH Executive Director Dr. Mark B. Johnson to Retire After More than 30 Years of Service


Johnson to Continue Leadership Role as President of the Colorado Medical Society

Jefferson County Public Health’s (JCPH) Executive Director, Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH, will retire from the department on October 2, 2020, after more than 30 years of public health service to the county. Johnson was originally set to retire from JCPH in early 2020, but extended his time with the department to help guide the county through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been a great honor to serve Jefferson County for the past three decades and the large majority of my professional career. When I was first hired for this position, my number one goal was to leave this county a healthier place than it was when I first started,” said Johnson. “While 2020 has certainly been the most unexpected, challenging year of them all due to the novel coronavirus, I am so incredibly proud of how far we have come in addressing public health issues in our community over the years. I have seen firsthand how strong our county is in dealing with major issues like floods and wildfires, and I am confident the county will overcome COVID-19 as a more resilient community, too.”

In his tenure as public health director, Johnson has a long history of protecting the health and wellness of residents in Jefferson County and across the state. Some of his major accomplishments include helping write and pass the Colorado Public Health Act in 2008, which helps ensure core public health services are provided effectively and equally to everyone in the state, and helping establish the highly revered Colorado School of Public Health where he still teaches today.

Johnson also advocated for transparency around safety related to the Rocky Flats, led JCPH to receive national accreditation status, and has served and continues to serve on multiple leadership boards and committees in the public health and medical fields. And lastly, as he embarks on his next chapter, Johnson can depart knowing that his goal to leave Jefferson County a healthier place has been realized — the county has consistently ranked in the top 10 healthiest counties in Colorado.

The Jefferson County Board of Health and JCPH are currently recruiting a new Executive Director to lead the department. In the interim, four long-time Division Directors will serve as a leadership board, providing strategic direction for the department and public health counsel for the county. Because it is required by state law that county health departments have a Medical Director on staff or in a consulting position at all times, Johnson will continue to serve in this role until the position is filled.

“Dr. Johnson has been a colleague and mentor of mine for more than 10 years, and I am so grateful to have worked alongside him — we will miss him dearly,” said Jody Erwin, Deputy Director at JCPH. “Our leadership team has worked through so many public health challenges and milestones over the years, and now COVID-19, and the JCPH Division Directors are ready to take the reins until our new Executive Director is identified.”

Following his retirement, Johnson will continue to champion public health in a new elected position as president of the Colorado Medical Society (CMS), the largest organization of physicians in the state. Johnson will serve one year as CMS president-elect until his presidency officially begins in September 2021.

"Dr. Johnson has been a valued member of the CMS Board of Directors for many years," said current CMS President David Markenson, MD. "He brings tremendous experience — in the practice of medicine, public health, medical education and connecting community leaders — that will serve him well as CMS president-elect and president. CMS and the physicians of Colorado will be well served by Dr. Johnson’s knowledge and leadership."

For more information about public health in Jefferson County, visit

About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth. 

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