Pitkin County chooses Dr. Kimberly Levin as new medical officer
Special to The Aspen Times
Pitkin County commissioners approved Dr. Kimberly Levin as the county’s new local medical officer Tuesday.
She will replace Dr. Morris Cohen, who has served the county since 2007 but recently decided to step down from the post. Acting as the county’s Board of Health, the commissioners did not hire Levin formally but directed staff members to prepare a contract for formal approval.
Levin has both a master’s degree in public health and a doctor of medicine degree. She practices emergency medicine at Aspen Valley Hospital and Grand River Medical Center in Rifle and also works part-time at Basalt After-Hours Medical Clinic and the Snowmass Clinic.
When Commissioner Rob Ittner asked her what scares her about the county position, she answered, “I’m not scared by it at all. My only concern about it is the time commitment.”
The local medical officer’s time commitment consists mainly of quarterly meetings with the Board of County Commissioners and monthly meetings with the Community Health Services Board. However, if Pitkin County were to experience some kind of health epidemic or emergency, the medical officer might be suddenly called on to direct a large-scale disease prevention effort or public information campaign.
Public Health Director Liz Stark told the commissioners that Levin’s education and her personal interest in community issues made her stand out in a field of four candidates.
“She just seemed to have a passion and interest in local public health issues,” Stark said.
Levin identified access to medical care and substance abuse as two of the health issues facing the upper valley, but she didn’t ring any alarm bells.
“I don’t think there’s anything glaring,” she said.
Levin will receive $8,700 per year for her services to the county.
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