Summit County Health Dept. hires new director, meet Dr. Phil Bonderant

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah. — Today the Summit County Board of Health announced that it has appointed Dr. Phil Bonderant as its next health director effective August 21, 2021. Bondurant previously served as the Health Department’s deputy director and environmental health director since joining Summit County in 2014. He will succeed Dr. Rich Bullough, who is retiring in August after nearly 11 years as director. 

“Following careful review and consideration of Dr. Bondurant’s background and experience as, among other things, deputy director of the Health Department, the board made the unanimous decision to appoint Dr. Bondurant as the County’s next director,” Board of Health Chair Chris Cherniak said in a statement. “We look forward to working with both Drs. Bullough and Bondurant over the next three months of transition.” 

Upon notification of Dr. Bullough’s retirement several weeks ago, the Board of Health began the process of selecting his successor in consultation with the County Council, the County Attorney’s Office and the County Manager. This process included in-depth discussions concerning the statutory requirements for filling the position, and consideration of potential candidates across the state.  

The Board’s unanimous decision to appoint Dr. Bondurant came after months of consideration, and discussion of credentials, experience, and the responsibilities of the health director position. This decision was based on Dr. Bondurant’s 10-plus years of public health experience and his extensive work in Summit County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other health director vacancies across the state in the same time period also influenced this decision. 

“Phil’s work over the past 16 months as part of the county’s COVID-19 response served as an extended interview for myself and the Board,” Bullough said in a statement. “During one of the most challenging years in the history of our health department, Phil demonstrated his ability to respond to complex issues, collaborate with our businesses and address the concerns of our communities. Summit County will benefit from his dedication to Public Health.” 

A Nevada native, Dr. Bondurant worked as a vector entomologist supervisor for the Southern Nevada Health District before moving to Utah in 2012 as the environmental health director for the Central Utah Public Health Department. He joined the Summit County Health Department in 2014 as the environmental health director and was promoted to deputy director in 2019. Dr. Bondurant holds a Doctorate of Public Health Administration from Walden University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. He resides in Heber and enjoys hunting and recreating outdoors with his wife and three children. 

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, Bondurant has played a key role in Summit County’s response, including the county’s health orders, support and coordination with local businesses and municipalities, and ongoing vaccination efforts. 

“I am both honored and humbled to serve as the Health Officer for Summit County, Utah,” Bondurant said in a statement. “I acknowledge this appointment comes with a great deal of responsibility and accountability, not only to the people living and visiting Summit County but also to myself. I am fully committed to this community, to the Health Department staff, and working to protect, preserve, and continue the rich tradition of public health in Summit County. I am excited about the future of the Health Department and the County as we turn the corner and begin to normalize. There is still lots of work to be done, but I believe that with County leadership, the Board of Health, and the fantastic staff at the Health Department, we are in a great position to create lasting, positive social change.” 

Summit County will begin the process to fill the now-vacant health department deputy director position this week. 

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