Salt Lake Valley Health Department
Gary Edwards, MS
Gary Edwards has worked in public health for 30 years; his career began at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, where he was a public health educator. Mr. Edwards then spent 11 years with the Utah Department of Health in the Bureau of Health Promotion, directing the bureau for three years. Prior to joining the Salt Lake Valley Health Department as executive director in 2005, Edwards was director of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department for 12 years.
In the course of his career, Edwards has been involved in investigating and managing cases and outbreaks of a number of communicable diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, measles, plague, pertussis, cryptosporidiosis, and novel H1N1 influenza. He has been actively involved in efforts to prevent and control tobacco use in Utah, and he was responsible for some of the initial work in the nation addressing smokeless tobacco. His work has also included investigating suspected anthrax exposure sites and evaluating the potential public health impacts of large hog operations. He has served on numerous state and national boards and committees.
In addition to his work in public health, Edwards has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah, Southern Utah University, and Ball State University. He was the Parowan (Utah) High School cross country coach for seven years, where his teams won five regional titles, one state championship, and one second-place state finish. Edwards claims to have learned life’s greatest lessons in the ten years he spent refereeing high school basketball.
Edwards received his undergraduate degree in health education from Utah State University and a Master of Science degree in health science from Western Illinois University. He has completed advanced leadership training with the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL), as well as the Homeland Security Executive Leadership Program (ELP) at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Gary and his wife, Moana, have four children and five grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys running, cycling, baseball, basketball, reading, and gardening.
A public health professional for over 29 years, Brian Bennion is currently deputy director of the administrative services division of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department. Prior to joining SLVHD, he worked for the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Heart Association.
Mr. Bennion is an active member of the Utah Public Health Association and has served in various positions for UPHA over the past 20 years. In April 2011, he will be completing his four-year term as vice president, president elect, president, and past president. He is also an active member of the Utah Environmental Health Association and has served on the Board of Trustees for UEHA as vice president, president elect, president, and past president. In addition, he served on the state environmental health scientist board from 1995–2004 and in 2000 received the association’s Pickett-Webb Award as the state’s outstanding environmental health scientist.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys boating, skiing, tennis, and golf. He and his wife, Vicki, have four kids, a grandson, and a dog named Roxy.
Dr. Dagmar J. Vitek has been with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department since 1990, serving as deputy director/medical officer since 2001. Prior to joining SLVHD, she was medical director for Intermountain Health Care’s Kearns Community Clinic.
A native of the Czech Republic, Dr. Vitek received her MD from the University of J.E. Purkyne College of Medicine with the highest honors. She entered radiology residency but left the Communist system and came to the United States in 1983, becoming a research fellow at the University of Utah, where she authored a number of articles in internationally recognized journals. In 1985, Dr. Vitek became licensed to practice medicine in Utah and worked in internal medicine at LDS Hospital and in radiology at the University of Utah. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Utah.
Before serving as SLVHD’s medical director, Dr. Vitek was the department’s associate director of family health services and director of occupational health and travel clinics. A member of a number of state and national organizations, including the Utah Public Health Association, Utah Medical Association, American Public Health Association, and American Medical Association, Dagmar loves hiking, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing; she has two kids and two dogs—including a huge German Shepherd who “thinks he is the only dog on Earth.”
Dr. Royal P. DeLegge has been the Salt Lake Valley Health Department director of environmental health since August 1999. He came to the department from the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, Illinois, where he was also director of environmental health. He had previously held various positions at the DuPage County Health Department in the Chicago metropolitan area; in total, Dr. DeLegge has worked in public health for more than 28 years.
Dr. DeLegge’s current responsibilities include oversight and leadership of the programs and staff in the bureaus of air pollution control, food protection, sanitation & safety, and water quality & hazardous waste. He holds several academic degrees: AA in biology from the College of DuPage; BS in biology from Illinois State University; MPA from Northern Illinois University; and a Ph.D. in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University.
A licensed environmental health scientist (LEHS) in Utah and a registered sanitarian (RS) by the National Environmental Health Association, Royal enjoys hiking, camping, caving, SCUBA diving, and caring for various animals.
A veteran of public health for 38 years, Dan Kinnersley began his career at the Utah Department of Health in epidemiology, immunization, and STD programs. He has been with the Salt Lake Valley Health Department for 34 years, working as a health educator, epidemiologist, and bureau manager; he is currently division director of community health services.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Kinnersley co-chaired the organizing committee that incorporated the Health Education Association of Utah (HEAU), and then served as HEAU’s first president. In 2001, he was recognized by HEAU with the Catherine K. Summerhayes Award.
An active member of the Utah Public Health Association (UPHA) for 32 years, he currently serves on the Executive Committee as Utah’s affiliate representative to the American Public Health Association (APHA). Mr. Kinnersley has served UPHA in a variety of positions, including president from 1994–1996. In 1998, he was the recipient of UPHA’s Beatty Award. He has also been a member of the American Public Health Association since 1992, currently serving on the Governing Council and Committee on Affiliates.
Dan received his bachelor’s degree in community health education from the University of Utah, and a Master of Public Administration (with an emphasis in health care administration) from Brigham Young University.
Dr. Audrey Stevenson is a family nurse practitioner with more than 30 years of clinical and public health experience. Dr. Stevenson, who holds Master of Public Health and Master of Nursing degrees, received her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Utah. She has worked in public health for the past 25 years.
Dr. Stevenson has been director of family health services for SLVHD since 2001; during her career, she has worked at several clinic locations and in a variety of programs, including family planning, well-child clinics, STD clinics, CCMAC prenatal, and pediatrics. She became a bureau manager in 1999, and in 2010 she was awarded the American Nurses Association (ANA) Immunity Award as a result of her efforts to promote the Tdap vaccine at public health clinics.
In 2011, she was involved in a successful legislative effort that allowed teen mothers to consent to their own vaccination. In her spare time, Audrey enjoys gardening, SCUBA diving, and traveling.