El Paso County Public Health Leadership

Susan Wheelan, M.B.A., Director

Susan Wheelan was appointed director in December 2018.  Previously, she served as interim director starting in September 2018 and was the agency’s deputy director for the previous three years. As deputy director, she oversaw the Disease Prevention and Health Promotion division, which includes the following programs: Communicable Disease and Tuberculosis, Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership, Youth Substance Use Prevention, Teen Suicide Prevention, and Maternal and Child Health.  During her 18 years of service at El Paso County Public Health, Wheelan has also served as the agency’s communication director and public information officer, an administrative hearing officer, program manager of the Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership, and an environmental health specialist.

Wheelan serves on several community boards including Kidpower, and the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI). She is also a member of various committees including the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO) Legislative Committee, the Governor’s Retail Marijuana Education Oversight Committee, and the Colorado Tobacco Review Committee.

Wheelan holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University. She is also a graduate of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute. Her additional training includes National Incident Management System courses, master’s level certification in Homeland Security Management, and Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership/Advanced Leadership Training Certification.



DeAnn Ryberg, B.S.N., M.P.H., Deputy Director

DeAnn Ryberg was appointed deputy director in February 2019. Before this appointment, Ryberg was a Program Manager for El Paso County Public Health’s Maternal Child Health Program. As program manager Ryberg led efforts related to nurse training, early childhood obesity prevention, promotion of resiliency and life skills for children, as well as care coordination for children and youth with special health care needs.

Ryberg began her public health career as a health education volunteer with Peace Corps. This experience provided Ryberg with an introduction to public health practice and concepts such as health equity, emergency planning, and community development. Over nearly 20 years of experience, Ryberg has worked at the federal, state and local levels on a variety of public health topics ranging from hepatitis C, Ebola and nurse development and training.  Prior to joining El Paso County Public Health, Ryberg served as a public health nurse with Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia, an adult viral hepatitis prevention coordinator for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and a regional epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Ryberg received a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College. She is also a board certified Advanced Public Health Nurse (PHNA-BC).