Public Health recognized for excellence in financial reporting

Susan Wheelan stands at a podium

Third straight year Public Health receives GFOA’s highest honor

El Paso County, CO – For the third straight year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada recognized El Paso County Public Health with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This is the highest form of recognition by the association in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“This recognition reflects our ongoing commitment to the citizens of El Paso County to open and transparent financial practices,” said Susan Wheelan, MBA, director of El Paso County Public Health. “This report incorporates the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic response and the increase in funding to allow us to meet the challenging needs of El Paso County communities. It’s a testament to our agency team who consistently practice and follow credible systems of accounting and grant standards to adhere to the established requirements in financial reporting.”

The recognition is for the annual comprehensive financial report of fiscal year 2020. The report included an independent audit by RubinBrown, which issued a clean opinion of the financial statements and no recommendations for audit adjustments or corrections.

“It’s common for any audit to at least have a couple of adjustments that we’ve identified, so the fact that there were none shows how well the records are maintained,” said Ted Williamson of RubinBrown during his audit report to the Board of Health on June 23, 2021.

The 2020 annual comprehensive financial report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

“Even when this financial report represented a significant change to previous years because of the pandemic response, it continues to be a testament by our team to meet the highest standards in government reporting,” said Nikki Simmons, chief financial officer for El Paso County. “This is a difficult award to achieve, and for our team to earn it for a third straight year demonstrates the ongoing commitment to the highest accounting and reporting standards in the country.”

El Paso County Public Health is dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and well-being, protecting the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit

The Government Finance Officers Association advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 21,000 members and the communities they serve.


Jared Verner
Deputy Public Health Information Officer
(719) 244-1947 cell
El Paso County, CO