• Summit County water study completed

    Summit County Health Department completes two year water study
    Findings to be released in December

    Park City, Utah (Nov. 17, 2016) — After two years of study, Summit County Environmental Health is preparing to release the findings from its wastewater systems assessment of water quality and soil suitability.

    “These studies represent a new direction for addressing wastewater in Summit County,” Health Department Director Rich Bullough said. “We believe these data will allow us to be more proactive in our decision making, more collaborative, and will help us protect the quality of our water as our population grows and demands for water resources increase.”

    Results from the study identified areas across Summit County sensitive to ground water. Using this information, Environmental Health staff can ensure septic systems are appropriately suited to the area where they are installed, ultimately increasing the life of the system and its ability to protect the environment. The end goal is to prevent future septic system failure due to growth and protect overall water quality throughout the county.

    “This study creates a framework that integrates science, technology, and regulation for use in evaluating wastewater systems in Summit County,” Phil Bondurant, Director of Environmental Health said. “It provides Environmental Health with the most accurate information available and gives us the tools to make decisions that will protect the natural resources of Summit County through responsible permitting and regulation.”

    Sampling was done in both Snyderville Basin and parts of Eastern Summit County to determine sensitive areas optimal for sewer or septic upgrades. Water samples were taken during peak runoff (spring) and baseflow conditions (summer) to test for Escherichia coli (E. coli), nitrates, general bacteria and human associated bacteria.

    Once released, the full study will be available at summitcountyhealth.org.

  • Mental Health Services and Needs Assessment findings

  • Council work session for mental health survey findings

    Summit County Council seeks public input on mental health survey findings
    Engagement from county residents needed to take next steps


    Park City, Utah (Nov. 4, 2016) — Summit County leadership seeks public input during County Council on November 9 to address the findings from the county-wide Mental Health System and Needs Assessment conducted earlier this year. This meeting will adopt a mental health resolution and discuss an implementation plan based on the survey’s findings. All county residents are encouraged to participate.

    “This has been a community-driven process since its beginning almost two years again,” said Health Department Director Rich Bullough. “I want to thank all of the survey participants and encourage the public to participate as we move forward. Mental health is an issue we need to recognize throughout the county and it will take full community engagement to make this plan a success.”

    More than 1,000 residents across the county participated in the survey, including proportionate representation from the Hispanic community. The full report, entitled “Mental Health Survey Findings and Community-Based Strategic Planning Directives for Summit County” will be available at summitcountyhealth.org immediately following the November 9th County Council meeting.

    Key Information:

    • Who: Summit County Residents
    • What: Public engagement meeting to discuss mental health survey findings.
    • Where: Sheldon Richins Building (bottom floor): 1885 W Ute Blvd, Park City.
    • When: Wednesday, November 9 at 4:20 p.m.
    • Why: Mental illness is a physical disease that affects the brain. The best way to eliminate the stigma is through public discussion and community outreach.
  • Health Promotions Director says goodbye after 25 years

    Summit County Health Promotion Director Announces Retirement
    Geri Essen retiring after 25 years at the Health Department

    Park City, Utah (Oct. 18, 2016) — After 25 years of service, longtime Summit County Health Department Health Promotions Director Geri Essen is announcing her retirement, effective October 21.

    “Geri arrived with no programs in place and very limited resources as the first Health Educator for Summit County,” Health Department Director Rich Bullough said. “She’s worked behind-the-scenes to almost single-handedly build our Health Promotions program.”

    Geri implemented a number of health programs and initiatives for Summit County employees and residents, many of which are self-funded by grants. These programs include mental health promotion, Injury Prevention, Tobacco Education, Employee Wellness, Seatbelt Education, physical activity school trainings, Diabetes Prevention, Suicide Prevention and more. Over the course of her employment, Geri’s programs featured thousands of participants, including the following:

    • Injury prevention: 2,617 participants
    • Nutrition programs: 2,569 participants
    • Physical activity school trainings: 6 schools trained
    • Tobacco Education: 43 retailers educated and inspected, 400-plus at e-cigarette training
    • Diabetes Prevention: three trainings with 31 participants
    • Suicide Prevention: 300-plus participants

    “In addition to building up these programs, Geri has also developed strong partnerships in the community with schools and work sites,” Bullough said. “She leaves behind some big shoes to fill, but Geri has also hired a really great staff to move forward with what she’s established.”

    Geri plans to spend her retirement time with her family. The Summit County Health Department will begin the hiring process for Geri’s replacement before the end of October.

    Media Contact
    Derek Siddoway
    Public Information Officer – Summit County Health Department

  • Health Department hires new PIO

    Summit County Health Department hires new Public Information Officer
    Summit County native Derek Siddoway brought on board

    Park City, Utah (Oct. 3, 2016) — The Summit County Health Department announced the hiring of a new Public Information Officer: Derek Alan Siddoway, a fourth-generation Summit County resident. Siddoway will work to increase community awareness and interaction with the Health Department’s programs, establish emergency communications and also serve as the assistant Summit County Public Information Officer.

    “I’ve always appreciated growing up in Summit County and I’m looking forward to working with our residents, businesses and departments,” Siddoway said. “Not only was the PIO position at the Health Department a great opportunity and challenge, but it also felt like a homecoming of sorts.”

    A graduate of North Summit High School, Siddoway completed his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Utah in 2013. During college, he worked as a part-time employee for the Summit County Weed Department and as an Emergency Management intern. Following his undergraduate studies, Siddoway spent the next three and a half years working in a public relations agency with clients such as Envision Utah, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Trolley Square and more.

    “We are thrilled to have Derek join our team,” Summit County Health Director, Rich Bullough said. “In addition to being a highly skilled communicator, he knows our communities and our residents. We are certain he will help us better connect our department to our citizenry, and help us assure our residents and visitors fully benefit from the excellent services and programs we provide.”

    Siddoway replaces long-time Health Department PIO Katie Mullaly, who left the Department this summer. In his down time, Siddoway serves as a volunteer member of Summit County Search and Rescue and engages in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. He also enjoys writing and is an avid fan of college and professional football.

    Media Contact
    Derek Siddoway
    Public Information Officer – Summit County Health Department