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La Plata County Public Health established

The department is set to open Jan. 8
Adam Trenholm, an electrician with La Plata County General Services department, prepares to hang a La Plata County Public Health sign on the lobby of the building once occupied by San Juan Basin Public Health. (Reuben M. Schafir/Durango Herald)

As of Monday, La Plata County is the operator of a new public health department.

San Juan Basin Public Health dissolved Sunday, and La Plata County Public Health is rising from its ashes.

On Tuesday, county staff were busy removing remnants of the old department, constructing furniture and hanging new signs.

The department will occupy the same offices as SJBPH’s Durango location, at 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 300.

LPCPH is not yet open to the public. Although death and birth certificates are being processed (forms can be dropped in a secure box in the lobby) and the health insurance literacy program is operating, all other services will not be available until Jan. 8.

The new county employees who will staff the department are onboarding and getting oriented to their new workplace. A majority of the department’s employees worked previously for SJBPH.

“We think it’s really important to take advantage of the extremely rare opportunity to build the culture and personality of a brand new team of 47 people,” said LPCPH Spokeswoman Megan Graham. “This first week of the year gives us a chance to start shaping how we want to impact the community and what we aspire toward as a new county department.”

The new department will offer the same services as SJBPH, officials have said previously.


This story has been updated to clarify that birth certificates are being processed and can be picked up beginning Jan. 8. The department’s address is 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 300.

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