About Salt Lake Health
The mission of the Salt Lake County Health Department is simple:
“To promote and protect community and environmental health.”
We work to protect and improve the well-being of all county residents by preventing disease, illness, and injury and by impacting social, economic, and environmental factors fundamental to excellent health.
Every day, we immunize children, inspect restaurants, keep tobacco out of the hands of minors, encourage physical activity, teach proper nutrition, protect our water and air, provide culturally appropriate services to a multitude of disparate populations, and collaborate with our community partners to ensure that public health works for residents of all cities and unincorporated areas in Salt Lake County.
The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) is nationally accredited in public health by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments. SLCoHD first received public health accreditation in 2014.
SLCoHD is the local health department serving Salt Lake County under Title 26A of the Utah Code.
SLCoHD works cooperatively with the Utah Department of Health, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and other state agencies, but is not an agency of state or federal government.
Learn more about Salt Lake County Health Department's past on our History page.
Gary Edwards, MS
Gary Edwards has worked in public health for over 35 years; his career began at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, and includes 11 years with the Utah Department of Health in the Bureau of Health Promotion, directing the bureau for three years. Prior to joining the Salt Lake County Health Department as executive director in 2005, Edwards was director of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department for 12 years.
During his career, Mr. Edwards has been involved in investigating and managing cases and outbreaks of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, measles, plague, pertussis, cryptosporidiosis, novel H1N1 influenza, and other communicable diseases. He has been actively involved in efforts to prevent and control tobacco use in Utah, responsible for some of the initial work in the nation addressing smokeless tobacco. His work has also included investigating suspected anthrax exposure sites and evaluating the potential public health impacts of large hog operations. He has served on numerous state and national boards and committees.
In addition to his work in public health, Edwards has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah, Southern Utah University, and Ball State University. He was the Parowan (Utah) High School cross country coach for seven years, where his teams won five regional titles, one state championship, and one second-place state finish. Edwards claims to have learned life’s greatest lessons in the 10 years he spent refereeing high school basketball. He was also appointed to complete a term on the Parowan City Council.
Edwards received his undergraduate degree in health education from Utah State University and a Master of Science degree in health science from Western Illinois University. He has completed advanced leadership training with the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL), as well as the Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program (ELP) at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Dorothy Adams, MPA, LEHS
Deputy Director and
Dorothy Adams has been with the Salt Lake County Health Department for over 30 years. In 1989, she began Utah’s first household hazardous waste program by holding small, one-day collection events; the program now consists of two permanent facilities and multiple community collection events around the valley.
Before becoming director of administration for SLCoHD, Ms. Adams worked as a program manager in water quality and hazardous waste for the department’s environmental health division. As director of administrative services, she oversees the department's finance, human resources, contracting, and facilities maintenance programs.
A native of Rhode Island, Adams holds a degree in resource economics from the University of New Hampshire as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dorothy is also licensed in Utah as an environmental health scientist, and she serves on the Summit County Board of Health.
Dagmar Vitek, MD, MPH
Deputy Director and
Director, Medical Division
Dr. Dagmar J. Vitek has been with the Salt Lake County Health Department since 1990, serving as medical officer since 2001. Prior to joining SLCoHD, she was medical director for Intermountain Health Care’s Kearns Community Clinic.
A native of the Czech Republic, Dr. Vitek received her MD from the J.E. Purkyně University College of Medicine with the highest honors. She entered radiology residency but left the Communist system and came to the United States in 1983, becoming a research fellow at the University of Utah, where she authored a number of articles in internationally recognized journals. In 1985, Vitek became licensed to practice medicine in Utah and worked in internal medicine at LDS Hospital and in radiology at the University of Utah. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Utah.
Before serving as SLCoHD’s medical director, Vitek was the department’s associate director of family health services and director of occupational health and travel clinics. Vitek is a member of a number of state and national organizations, including the Utah Public Health Association, Utah Medical Association, American Public Health Association, and American Medical Association,
Ron Lund, MPH, LEHS
Director, Environmental Health
Photo and bio coming soon.
Jeff Smart, MPA
Director, Community Health
Jeff Smart is a licensed social service worker with a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. He has worked for Salt Lake County since 2000. He spent the first 15 years of his career in behavioral health before transferring to SLCoHD.
During Mr. Smart’s time with the county, he has worked as an assessment and referral specialist for the Salt Lake County jail and Utah State Prison and coordinated the Collaborative Interventions for Abusing Offenders (CIAO) program, which was the precursor to the Drug Offender Reform Act (DORA). He served as the substance use disorder (SUD) Prevention Manager for Salt Lake County and helped develope the state’s certification for SUD prevention specialists as an executive member of the Association of Utah Substance Abuse Professionals and the National Association for Addiction Professionals. Mr. Smart then served as the associate director for the Division of Behavioral Health and the prevention bureau manager for the SLCoHD’s Community Health Division before becoming Director of Community Health in 2018.
In addition to his extensive work with Salt Lake County, Mr. Smart has worked as a youth mentor, middle school counselor, case worker for the Road Home (formerly the Travelers Aid Society), and women and children’s program manager for Odyssey House.
Audrey Stevenson, PhD, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC
Director, Family Health
Dr. Audrey Stevenson is a family nurse practitioner with more than 40 years of clinical and public health experience. Dr. Stevenson, who holds Master of Public Health and Master of Nursing degrees, received her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Utah. She has worked in public health for the over 30 years.
Dr. Stevenson has been director of family health for SLCoHD since 2001; during her career, she worked at several clinic locations and in a variety of programs, including family planning, well-child, STD, prenatal, pediatric, and maternal & child health clinics. In 2010 she received the American Nurses Association (ANA) Immunity Award as a result of her efforts to promote the Tdap vaccine at public health clinics, and in 2011, she was involved in a successful legislative effort that allowed teen mothers to consent to their own vaccination.
In addition to the ANA Immunity Award, Dr. Stevenson has also received of the Beatty Award, the State of Utah’s highest public health award, and the national Maternal and Child Health Effective Practice Award for her work in state and national vaccination efforts. She is frequently named to local and national advisory boards on vaccination topics, as well as a frequent media spokesperson on vaccination topics.
- Merit Positions
Salt Lake County Human Resources recruits and screens all candidates for merit (benefits-eligible, career service) positions in the health department.
Salt Lake County merit positions
- Nonmerit Positions
Nonmerit positions (sometimes known as “temporary” positions) are at-will positions and are not eligible for benefits. Nonmerit positions may be posted at Salt Lake County Human Resources or may be listed here.
Salt Lake County Health Department routinely offers internships to college students seeking public health experience. Some internships offer only course credit (depending on your educational institution’s requirements); others offer a stipend upon successful completion of the internship.
Salt Lake County internships
- Volunteer Opportunities
If you would like to volunteer for a health department program, please visit Salt Lake County Volunteer Services.
Depending on the program, volunteers may need to complete additional training before beginning work as a health department volunteer.