County’s new health director brings broad experience to post

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee has been chosen as the new Navajo County Health District director. Lee served as interim director of the Coconino County Department of Emergency Management prior to coming to Navajo County. Under his direction, the department provided oversight and coordination for the planning, response and recovery in emergency situations.

Lee also served as a key player in the progression of the Public Health Emergency Management Program (PHEP) in Coconino County while serving as the program’s manager for the Coconino County Public Health Services District from 2012 to late 2016. Under his direction, the PHEP program responded to multiple disease outbreaks, wildland fires and re-emerging disease threats. Notable incidents include the Slide Fire, as well as the tick-borne relapsing fever, Measles, Ebola and Zika responses.

In addition to events within Coconino County, Lee also deployed to neighboring communities to assist with emergency operations during the Doce, Yarnell and Cedar fires, as well as Operation Winter Freeze on the Navajo Nation.

During his time in the PHEP program, Coconino County was the only PHEP program in Arizona to receive Project Public Health Ready re-recognition from the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). He also received best practice recognition from NACCHO for the CCPHSD PHEP program’s hazard and risk assessment.

Lee garnered experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Incident Management Team from 2010-13, when he was instrumental in the response to the Joplin, Mo., tornado and Hurricane Irene.

Prior to entering the emergency management career field, Lee was a crew chief for 10 years in the U.S. Air Force and worked on the F-16 fighter jet.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Emergency Management from Grand Canyon University, a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in government and policy, also from Grand Canyon University, and a Master of Science in Emergency Management with an emphasis in terrorism from Walden University.

He is also the only current emergency preparedness manager in Arizona to receive the certified emergency manager designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Lee has served as the chair of the Northern Arizona Region Healthcare Coalition, president and vice president of the Arizona Local Public Health Emergency Response Association, and regional liaison to the Arizona Department of Health Services Senior Advisory Committee.