Jollon recognized for outstanding leadership throughout pandemic

Liane Jollon, Executive Director, San Juan Basin Public Health
SJBPH

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet congratulated Liane Jollon, the executive director of San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH), on receiving the American Medical Association (AMA) Nathan Davis Award. The annual award recognizes elected and public servants at the local, state, and national level for outstanding government service. Bennet nominated Jollon for the award for her tireless work to support Coloradans through the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.  

“For over a decade, Liane has driven SJBPH’s mission to serve Coloradans in La Plata and Archuleta counties. Liane’s leadership and scientific integrity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is a model for thousands of public health leaders throughout Colorado and the country, who have worked under extremely difficult conditions to keep us safe,” said Bennet. “I am proud that the American Medical Association has recognized Liane’s tireless work throughout the pandemic. On behalf of all Coloradans, I’d like to congratulate Liane and thank her for her leadership and service during a time of great need.”  

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Jollon has worked with leaders in the region and throughout the state to develop and communicate a coordinated public health response,” said AMA Board Chair Russ Kridel, M.D. “The fight against COVID-19 is just the latest challenge Ms. Jollon has taken on during a career devoted to improving public health. I am pleased to present her with our Outstanding Government Service Award.” 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jollon has been a critical part of the public health response in southwest Colorado. She organized the first testing events in the region and staffed teams to investigate and contain the disease. She has been a calm, informed, and resourceful leader, advocating not just for SJBPH, but for public health agencies across the state. In all of Jollon’s work, it is clear how deeply she cares and is focused on the health and safety of each and every person in the two counties SJBPH serves and all Coloradans.  

Jollon’s approach to the pandemic has proven effective. Throughout much of the past year, the counties she serves have been in the bottom twenty percent in Colorado for cases per capita––despite high tourism and in-person learning. And under her leadership, southwest Colorado has the lowest cumulative infection rate in the state, as well as the highest vaccination rate.  

Jollon joined government service late in her career, having spent fifteen years in the non-profit sector, working to bring an array of services to Coloradoans related to health care access, housing, violence prevention, and economic development. In 2010, after earning her nursing degree, Jollon joined SJBPH as a clinic nurse. She was named Executive Director of SJBPH in 2013. In 2019 she was selected as the president of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO) and from that position she has helped lead Colorado’s response to the pandemic. 

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