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Posted on: July 11, 2019

County appoints Health and Human Services Director

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Thomas Pristow has been named the new Coconino County Health and Human Services department Director by County Manager James Jayne.

The Board of Supervisors are expected to confirm the appointment during the August 27 board meeting. Pristow will begin his service on August 26.

Pristow will lead the newly formed Health and Human Services department which merged the Public Health Services District, Community Services and the Career Center on July 1, 2019. He will lead staff through the integration of the department, enhance community collaborations, explore service delivery efficiencies and support the County’s mission, vision and priorities. 

“We are excited to have Thomas join the Coconino County team,” said Deputy County Manager, Dr. Marie Peoples. “The County conducted a comprehensive nationwide search that resulted in a deep pool of highly qualified candidates. Thomas has an impressive background with a proven track record of leading through transitions, enhancing community collaborations and exploring service delivery efficiencies. His extensive experience and proven leadership capabilities will be invaluable as we continue to reimagine service delivery in the newly united Health and Human Services department.”

Currently, Pristow is the Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. He oversees support services for the state’s Child Welfare, Medicaid, Homelessness, Child Support, Behavioral Health, Child Support and Public Health. He directs over 3000 staff members and a manages a $2.2 billion annual budget. Pristow also served as the Department of Health and Human Services for Cuyahoga County, worked as the Director for the State of Nebraska Children and Family Services as well as human service roles in Virginia and Vermont.

“I’m honored to lead this new Health and Human Services department,” said Pristow. “I look forward to leading the professional staff at Coconino County as we continue to find new ways to serve our most vulnerable populations. Our staff and supervisors will be supported, and I will encourage innovation in how we meet the needs of our communities. We will work with stakeholders, county leadership and our customers to enhance service delivery to make our programs the best in the country.”

Pristow is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and his Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

The new Health and Human Services department integration will improve service connections, simplify intake processes and improve service accessibility by promoting the health, safety and well-being of children, seniors, families, visitors and residents of the County through a comprehensive health and human services delivery system.

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