Jefferson County, Colo. — Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is proud to welcome Evergreen resident, athletic trainer and longtime community health advocate Caroline Szuch as the newest member of the Jefferson County Board of Health. From working in life-saving fields to advocacy work for youth, Szuch brings a wide variety of skills, experience and expertise to the Board and the people of Jefferson County.
“Here at JCPH, we work on issues that affect the health and well-being of the public. Members of the Board of Health have a voice in important decisions around these topics,” said Dr. Mark B. Johnson, Executive Director of JCPH. “Having someone with Caroline Szuch’s background, expertise and enthusiasm on the Board will benefit JCPH, its staff and ultimately, the people of Jefferson County.”
Szuch owns and operates a physical fitness training company in Evergreen, where she works primarily with young athletes hoping to earn college scholarships. Under her coaching, several clients have made it to the Olympic trials. Before opening the gym, Szuch was a firefighter and a paramedic, and before that, she worked as a climbing ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park, performing technical rescues off Long’s Peak.
That spirit of helping others and saving lives has carried into Szuch’s current advocacy work. She is passionate about protecting the youth in our communities from harm, specifically against the dangers of vaping and JUULing.
As a result, Szuch founded C.L.E.A.N. — Community Led Effort Against Nicotine — and has worked with more than 500 middle school students. She has advocated for curriculum changes in school, and because of this effort and the growing scope of the problem, JUULing will now be part of seventh grade health curriculum, she said.
Szuch’s passion and work come to the Board of Health at a time in which substance misuse, including youth substance misuse and the increasing rates of vaping, has been highlighted as a major issue for Jefferson County. Several programs at JCPH are currently working to address these important problems, including the Tobacco Prevention Initiative and Jefferson County Communities That Care.
“This is the community where I live and work, and most importantly, it’s where I’m raising my children,” Szuch said. “I am honored to be a part of the Board of Health and excited to help support JCPH’s work in promoting and protecting health for all people.”
Szuch comes to the Board after the retirement of former Board of Health President Bonnie McNulty, who served in her role for more than 20 years. Though we will miss McNulty’s vast insight and depth of knowledge, we are happy to congratulate Greg Deranleau as the new President, Lane Drager as the new Vice President and Kimberley Krapek as the new Secretary of the Jefferson County Board of Health.
“Bonnie McNulty is a wonderful and respected public servant, colleague and friend to many of us here at JCPH,” Johnson said. “We’re very thankful to her for her decades of civic service and engagement and we wish her happiness and, of course, health, in her retirement. She has left the Board in excellent hands.”
The Jefferson County Board of Health members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to make policies and decisions that will help promote health and prevent disease in the county. The Board meets at 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at Jefferson County Public Health, 645 Parfet Street. Meetings are open to the public, and community participation is welcome and encouraged during a public comment portion of every meeting. The Board will next meet on Nov. 20, 2018. For more information, including minutes, agendas and any changes in schedule or location, please visit https://www.jeffco.us/3413/Board-of-Health.
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 committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan through prevention, education and partnerships for all people. To learn more about JCPH, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.