Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.JPG
The department's headquarters (left) in Glendale
Department overview
Jurisdiction Colorado
Headquarters Glendale, Colorado
39°42′16.76″N104°56′13.23″W / 39.7046556°N 104.9370083°W / 39.7046556; -104.9370083 Coordinates: 39°42′16.76″N104°56′13.23″W / 39.7046556°N 104.9370083°W / 39.7046556; -104.9370083
Department executive
  • Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is the principal department of the Colorado state government [1] responsible for public health and environmental regulation. [2]

The Government of Colorado is the governmental structure as established by the Constitution of the State of Colorado. It is composed of three branches: the executive branch headed by the Governor, the legislative branch consisting of the General Assembly, and the judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court and lower courts. The constitution also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall and ratification.

Public health preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society and individuals

Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Environmental policy the totality of the government efforts to promoting the protection of the natural environment

Environmental policy is the commitment of an organization or government to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution, waste management, ecosystem management, maintenance of biodiversity, the protection of natural resources, wildlife and endangered species. Concerning environmental policy, the importance of implementation of an eco-energy-oriented policy at a global level to address the issues of global warming and climate changes should be accentuated. Policies concerning energy or regulation of toxic substances including pesticides and many types of industrial waste are part of the topic of environmental policy. This policy can be deliberately taken to direct and oversee human activities and thereby prevent harmful effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have harmful effects on humans.



In 1876, the Territorial Board of Health was created when the Governor John L. Routt, signed legislation into law creating the nine-member board of physicians across the state. Their charter was to investigate public health issues and recommend resolutions. It had an annual budget of $500,000. The president was Dr. Frederick J. Bancroft and the secretary was Harrison A. Lemen. Other physicians on the board were William H. Williams, A.V. Small, Thomas G. Horn, William Edmondson, Russell J. Collins, Timothy M. Smith, and Thomas N. Metcalf. [3]

Frederick J. Bancroft American physician and educator

Frederick J. Bancroft was a surgeon during the Civil War before he settled in Colorado, where he was considered to be "one of the most prominent physicians", according to a San Francisco Chronicle obituary. In the late 1870s, he and the Denver Medical Association created the public health system for Denver, Colorado to improve the health of its citizens. In 1876, Bancroft was the first president of Colorado's State Board of Health. He became Colorado Medical Society president in 1880. Bancroft was a founder and professor of the University of Denver and Colorado Seminary Medical Department in 1881.

The Colorado State Board of Health was established on March 22, 1877, with Frederick Bancroft as its president. It had limited responsibility, such as gathering statistics about sewage disposal and water supply. Bancroft also advocated for research into what altitudes were best suited for children's development mentally and physically. Because of their limited role in advocated public health issues, members resigned and waited until their end of their terms to leave their posts. There were no members and the board failed to exist on June 1, 1886. [3]

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  1. C.R.S. § 24-1-110
  2. "About the Department" . Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Frederick J. Bancroft, M.D. (1834-1903)". Colorado's Healthcare Heritage: Honoring the People Who Created What We've Inherited. Colorado Healthcare History. p. 3. Retrieved October 3, 2016.