Top Stories

Southern Ute Health Center welcomes Langefels into leading role 

Lizette Langefels, Southern Ute Health Center Director
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

Langefels accepts position as SUHC Director  

Lizette Langefels steps in as the Southern Ute Health Center Director, with an official start date of Monday, June 10. Langefels comes to the Tribe with 17 years of experience working at Animas Surgical Hospital in Durango, Colo., where she has been living for over 26 years. Colorado born, Langefels grew up northwest of Denver prior to moving to the Four Corners. 

When asked about what makes the Southern Ute health center unique, Langefels said, “It’s the focus on the people. [The Utes] have the honor to focus on that. We have a real opportunity here with a small group of people to impact the community in a positive and healthy way.” 

“What I really appreciate is the Southern Ute’s vision towards wellness,” she said. “My goal for the next few weeks is to listen and learn. I’m really big on connection. I think that taking the time to make connections over the next few weeks is going to be a big piece of my job – to be part of the community.” 

Langefels received her bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., leading to a master’s degree from Adams State University  in Alamosa, Colo., an MBA with a Health Care emphasis. Additionally obtaining her Human Resources accreditation (SHRM-CP). The SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credential is for individuals who perform general HR and HR-related duties at work; or for those pursuing a career in Human Resource Management. 

“The need to help others in any way I could,” in her own words is what drove Langefels to pursue a career in the medical profession. “I realized I could still help people on the business side. I didn’t need to be at the bedside to make a difference [in the field of medicine].” 

In her new role as the SUHC Director, Langefels see herself working, “to help those around me to better enhance the services we already have; and to bring this role some stability, to bring that stability to our team … I think that will go a long way.” 

“In July, I will be finishing a certified professional coaching license, through a company called iPEC.” iPEC offers online and in-person ICF-Accredited Coach Training Programs. “[I’m pursuing this professional coaching license] to help facilitate communication with my employees and to better myself … to help us all on our individual journeys,” she said. 

The position of SUHC Director was previously held by David Tonemah, who resigned in July of 2023. Chief Nursing Officer, Charles “Lee” Williamson and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Richard Keller have each held the Interim Director position since then. 


To top