El Paso County, CO – The El Paso County Board of Health elected Ted Collas to serve as its new Board of Health President at its regular December meeting. The decision became effective at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
At its January meeting, the Board thanked outgoing Board President Dr. James Terbush for his leadership and service. Dr. Terbush has served on the board since 2013 and will conclude his service on Aug. 1, 2023. Dr. Terbush was elected board president in 2019 and served in the role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Terbush was recognized by the board and staff for his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 public health emergency. “I have tremendously appreciated Dr. Terbush’s leadership, his mentorship, his steadfastness with supporting all staff and being an advocate during some of the most trying and tumultuous times,” said Susan Wheelan, director of El Paso County Public Health. “In addition to Dr. Terbush’s expertise, what really shines through for our team is his compassion and his kindness.”
Collas, the new Board of Health President, has been an at-large member of the Board since April 2021. Collas has a master’s degree in leadership and is the retired Colorado Springs Fire Chief. He served with the fire department for 36 years, including over 25 years as an Emergency Medical Technician and 17 as a paramedic. As the chief of the department, he oversaw one of the most progressive and effective Community and Public Health programs in the fire service.
Dr. Terbush proposed electing Ted Collas as president at the Dec. 14, 2022, regular meeting, noting his relevant qualifications for the position, as well as his character. “I find him to be very professional, even-handed, measured, diplomatic, I might say, and very astute,” Dr. Terbush said. “But in addition, two things [that] stand out about Fire Chief Ted Collas is, one, that he gets public safety. And that public safety and public health, in my opinion, should be locked at the hip. The other thing that I would say about Fire Chief Ted Collas is that he’s used to working with a large staff and has considerable connections in the city of Colorado Springs.”
Outgoing President Dr. Terbush received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Colorado, and he holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of California. His background includes serving as the Fleet Surgeon for Commander in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, in addition to serving as the Command Surgeon for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
Doris Ralston continues to serve as the Board of Health Vice President. For more information about the Board of Health, including members and their roles, visit www.elpasocounty.org/board-of-health.
Public Health Information Officer
El Paso County, CO