The El Paso County Health Department Public Health Administrator Rosemary Bakes-Martin has passed away after a battle with cancer Tuesday.
Rosemary was hired as Deputy Director of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment in 2000 and unanimously appointed as Public Health Administrator for El Paso County in 2002 by the El Paso County Board of Health.
Health Department officials released the following information regarding the sad parting of their department's leader:
"Prior to Rosemary’s appointment, the health department was widely perceived by the community as a clinical provider of last resort. Rosemary worked fervently to change this mindset by focusing the Health Department’s efforts and mission on preventing, investigating and protecting the entire population from health and environmental threats, rather than clinically-based services with limited outreach.
In her tenure with the Health Department, Rosemary profoundly strengthened the relationship between public health and health care professionals through her leadership role with the Community Health Partnership, whose ongoing mission is to provide accessible, coordinated care to uninsured and underinsured populations.
As Public Health Administrator for the state’s most populous county, Rosemary led the Health Department’s efforts in providing expertise and assistance to health-care providers, businesses and citizens focused on disease prevention.
“Rosemary has left an indelible mark on the Health Department and the field of public health that we will strive to uphold in her absence,” said Board of Health President John Suits. “Her innumerable contributions and achievements over the years are only outweighed by her tremendous heart and concern for the well being of our citizens. She will be greatly missed.” "
Bakes-Martin died earlier this week, but her family asked the media to hold off on reporting her death until Friday.
Kandi Buckland, R.N., M.P.A, deputy director of the Health Department has been fulfilling Rosemary’s role of leadership for the Department in her absence. The Board of Health is still looking into a permanent replacement for Rosemary.
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