CACHE COUNTY – Jordan D. Mathis of Vernal will replace retiring Lloyd C. Berentzen as Executive Director of the Bear River Health Department (BRHD) early next year.
In his capacity as chairman of the Bear River Board of Health, Cache County Executive Craig Buttars made that announcement during the regular meeting of the Cache County Council on Tuesday.
“Jordan comes to us from the Tri-County area in the Uintah Basin,” Buttars explained, referring to a region in eastern Utah that includes Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties. “He’s been the executive director of the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) out there for six years.”
A native of Kaysville, Mathis graduated from Gonzaga University in 2014 with a degree in public health.
“Everyone I have contact with in that area knows Jordan,” the county executive added. “They all give him glowing reports and we’re excited to have him here around the first of the new year.”
Buttars said Mathis’ expected arrival date is “still a little flexible” because the new health director is reluctant to leave his old post in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic until TCHD can locate a replacement for him.
That shouldn’t be an issue, according to Buttars, because Berentzen has agreed to stay on at BRHD until April 1 to ensure a smooth transition for Mathis.
After nearly two decades as executive director of the Bear River Health Department, Berentzen had originally intended to retire effective in April of this year, but those plans were disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.
The Bear River Health Department is one of 13 local health departments that work to promote and protect the health of more than 3 million Utahns.
Since March, Berentzen has directed the efforts of 110 BRHD staff members who have helped the 160,000 residents of its tri-county area of responsibility cope with the coronavirus outbreak.
Berentzen joined the BRHD staff in in 1986 and served as its deputy director from 1990 to 2001. When former director Dr. John Bailey retired in 2001, state officials actively recruited Berentzen, who holds a master of business administration degree in health management, to replace him.
Berentzen is a resident of North Logan and previously served as mayor of that community.