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2019 Media Releases

May 22, 2019
Media Contact:
Jennifer Brinkman, Chief of Staff, 531-207-2223,

Mayor Names Pat Lopez Interim Director at Health Department

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced the appointment of Pat Lopez as the Interim Director of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) while Director Shavonna Lausterer is on medical leave. Lopez is a nurse and had a nearly 30-year career at LLCHD from 1975 to 2004. The six-month appointment takes effect immediately.

"Our hearts go out to Shavonna and her family, and I want to thank her for her dedicated service to our City," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "We are fortunate Pat Lopez is willing to provide leadership for the time being to guarantee continued service to the community. She is uniquely suited for this role, with four decades of work in this field, and we are pleased to welcome her back to the Health Department. "

After leaving LLCHD, Lopez worked for four years as a consultant with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to address children's behavioral health. She continues to work with DHHS, assisting local and tribal health departments across the State in preparing for national accreditation. She also has served as president and board member of Community Access to Coordinated Health (CATCH); served as Executive Director of the Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) Board of Health and Friends of Public Health; and worked as a consultant for PHAN. Lopez received her master's degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1990.

"I look forward to working with the dedicated staff at the Department to address the important work of public health in our community," Lopez said.

The Mayor expressed her confidence in the outstanding professionalism of the LLCHD staff at this difficult time. "Our Health Department is a national model of excellence because the staff take great pride in the work they do," she said. "I am grateful for their continued dedication and look forward to working with them through this transition."

For more information on LLCHD, visit

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