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Tuoumne County Planning To Hire Kelaita As Interim Health Officer

Sonora, CA — Calaveras County’s health officer is being asked to fill in on an interim basis for the soon to be departed Dr. Liza Ortiz.

We reported just over a month ago that Dr. Ortiz submitted her letter of resignation in June. It is effective August 31st, but her last day physically in the office will be today. This coming Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will vote on formally approving a contract with Calaveras County’s Health Officer, Dr. Dean Kelaita, to serve as interim Tuolumne County Health Officer for a period of six months. It is not expected to interfere with his current duties in Calaveras County. Dr. Kelaita will be paid $4,000 per month ($24,000 over the contract period). He will report to Tuolumne County one day each week and be on-call in the event that health emergencies arise.

Steve Boyack, Tuolumne County’s Assistant Human Services Director, says, “We’re in the midst of carrying out the recruitment plan for the new health officer. As I understand it, we have quite a few applicants pursuant to the recruitment plan. During the interim period there are mandated activities that are ongoing in our health department that require a health officer to oversee. Dr. Kelaita has been more than gracious enough to enter into a contractual agreement with Tuolumne County to provide those services one day a week until we hire a new health officer.”

The terms of the agreement allow for the county to extend the contract by six additional months, totaling a year, if there are challenges that arise to filling the health officer position.