According to a press release from the Gallatin City-County Health Department, Health Officer Matt Kelley announced on Wednesday that he has accepted a new position as the first chief executive officer of the Montana Public Health Institute.

Kelley will step down from his position as Health Officer in Gallatin County but plans to continue working full-time in his current position until sometime in June in order to lead the department in its pandemic response and to assist in a search for the county’s next health officer.

As challenging and trying as the pandemic has been, I love being health officer in Gallatin County, and leaving will be very difficult. This new role allows me to continue working throughout Montana to improve the health and quality of life for all Montanans. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a new organization to serve the state that I love.

Matt Kelley said.

Kelley became health officer in Gallatin County eleven years ago and has helped guide GCCHD to assemble and grow a highly qualified staff, develop financial resources and community partnerships necessary to serve a rapidly growing county, and address major public health challenges, such as COVID-19.

Kelley holds an undergraduate degree from Drake University in journalism and a master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His past work includes: working on Capitol Hill as a newspaper reporter; service as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa where he worked on health and clean water projects; and working on health and mental health policy and programming within the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C. Kelley said he will use those experiences at MTPHI to strengthen and support public health systems throughout Montana.

Becky Franks, chair of Gallatin City-County Board of Health, said the Board would commence with a search for Kelley’s successor immediately. She said the Board will be looking for someone to carry on the work pursued by Kelley and the health department staff over the past 11 years.

For more information, please visit the Gallatin City-County Health Department website.

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