Summit County Health Director Rich Bullough announced his retirement to the Summit County Board of Health Monday and will be officially stepping down in August.
Bullough has led the Summit County Health Department as Director since 2010 and told the board on Monday night that although he already had plans to retire -- twice -- prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he could not in good conscience step away before guiding the county through the crisis.
“Certainly, this has been the greatest team that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Bullough. “But, to be a part of this team, I’ve delayed a retirement ... I told myself I was not gonna leave in the middle of this thing, I was gonna wait until we got to a place that I thought we’d made the progress we needed to make and that time is now.”
Bullough was thrust into the spotlight for the county over the last year and would give regular updates not just to state and county officials, but would also be a regular guest on KPCW to give updates on the current situation and answer the community’s most pressing pandemic questions.
Board member Doug Evans summed up many people's thoughts on Bullough’s contributions.
“You are a friend to this entire county and a true humanitarian,” said Evans. “Thank you.”
Before becoming Health Director in Summit County, Bullough worked in multiple public health roles including at the Utah Department of Health, directing their Centers for Disease Control funded programs. He was also a Research Fellow for the National Institutes of Health, and was an adjunct professor and instructor at the University of Utah.
Despite the long resume, Bullough said his time with Summit County was his career highlight.
“This has been a remarkable honor for me,” he said, “I’ve been in public health almost 30 years. By far the biggest honor that I’ve had has been in this job and serving this community and, importantly, being part of this team. Obviously, the board and the council, the community, and others are a big part of the team as well. So, with that, there you have it.”
Bullough indicated he would remain as director until August 20th and help in the transition to a new, yet-to-be-named successor. The Summit County Health Department said in a prepared statement that the board of health will be considering a succession plan in the coming weeks.