New State Health Department Leader

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Governor Owens has appointed Douglas Benevento to head the state health department. The job was formerly held by Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton.

Benevento served as acting director of the department after Norton took a leave of absence to become Owens' running mate in November's election.

The Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for implementing federal environmental and health regulations and works in cooperation with local health departments with an annual budget of over $280 million and approximately 1,100 employees.

The department's divisions include air pollution control, consumer protection, hazardous materials and waste management, water quality control, health facilities and disease control.