- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Dr. Jose Montero, New Hampshire’s director of public health for the past seven years, said Thursday he is stepping down to take a position elsewhere but will remain in the state.

Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post May 1. He has been with the state’s Division of Health Services for 15 years.

He said in his written statement that it’s time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency.

Montero said he’s proud that the agency has overcome numerous challenges and earned a high level of trust and confidence in its professionalism and achievements.

Montero, 54, said he could not announce his next step yet but he intends to stay in the public health field in New Hampshire.

“I’m incredibly sad to be leaving what has been such a personally and professionally rewarding experience,” he said.

Montero said he was most proud of efforts to better connect the health care delivery system to the public health agencies and pointed to the state’s immunization system as one of the best in the country.

“We have our children well protected,” he said.

He also cites the state’s high rate of colorectal and breast cancer screening as important tools in preventing disease.

Montero said the state still needs to a system to track immunizations but that it’s a huge investment. The next director should also push for more investment in tobacco, drug and alcohol prevention programs for children, Montero said.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Montero’s leadership and dedication to public health have helped maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the healthiest states in the nation,” Hassan said.


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