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Salt Lake City -- Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert today appointed W. David Patton, Ph.D., executive director of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH).  Patton has been with UDOH since January 2009, serving for two years as the chief operating officer and for the past three months as interim executive director.  Patton's appointment is subject to approval of the Utah State Senate.
 
"On top of its day-to-day duties of protecting the health and well-being of our citizens, the Health Department faces significant challenges in managing Medicaid growth and implementing health reform efforts," said Governor Herbert.  "I'm confident Dr. Patton's strong background in public policy and his keen leadership abilities make him the right person to successfully lead the Department into the future."
 
Patton holds degrees in economics and political science, an MPA from Brigham Young University, and a PhD from the University of Utah.  He has worked professionally in the private sector and with state and local governments. His work experience ranges from agency management to labor negotiations and policy analysis.
 
"I thank Governor Herbert for this opportunity and recognize there is a lot of work to do to make Utah the healthiest state in the nation," said Patton.  "I look forward to engaging local health departments, community partners, and the dedicated professionals at Health to help make Utahns the healthiest they can be."
 
Prior to joining UDOH, Patton served as director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Utah, led Gov. Jon Huntsman's second Gubernatorial Transition Team, and was the first Executive Director of the Utah Policy Partnership - the Governor's policy and governance advisory group.

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