PRESCOTT - The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors last week voted to approve a new director for its Community Health Services Department.
Stephen Tullos, 59, succeeds Robert Resendes, who quietly resigned the position in October 2012.
County Administrator Phil Bourdon said he was unable to comment on the circumstances of Resendes' departure and the Daily Courier has been unable to reach Resendes to speak with him.
Bourdon said there were 19 applicants for the job. Tullos, who is married and has "three semi-grown kids," will leave the Taylor County Health Department in Florida, where he has been the administrator for the last 10 years, to come to Arizona.
"My in-laws are all out in Phoenix," he said, "so my wife and I had been wanting to head out that way, and I'd been looking for a long time."
With 19,000 residents, Taylor County is substantially smaller than Yavapai, which has 211,000, but Tullos is confident that he has the experience to lead the department.
"I'm sure there are going to be some surprises, but most of the challenges that are probably going to come up, I've run across in some form or fashion in my career," he said.
That career spans 30 years and includes stints in administration at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and as a health officer in Taney County, Missouri, and time in the Environmental section of St. Louis County government.
"The major thing I bring (to the job) is lots and lots of experience," Tullos said. "My job is to make sure (staff) has the tools, and the techniques, and the training to do what they need to do."
Bourdon said the recommendation to hire Tullos came from a five-member panel consisting of YRMC CEO Tim Barnett, Deputy County Attorney Dana Owens, Supervisor Tom Thurman, Board of Health member Judy Klein, and Bourdon, who interviewed six candidates.
"He had a very good background already," Bourdon said, "He actually is an administrator in a health department right now."
Tullos starts his new position June 3.