Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs gives thumbs up to acting director of state health services

Aug 5, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Aug 9, 2023, 11:21 am

Headshot of Jennie Cunico, who was appointed to be director of the Arizona Department of Health Ser...

Jennie Cunico was appointed to be director of the Arizona Department of Health Services on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. She had been serving as the agency's acting director. (Arizona Department of Health Services Photo)

(Arizona Department of Health Services Photo)

PHOENIX — This time, the governor is opting for the incumbent.

The state is appointing acting director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Jennie Cunico to the permanent role.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs made the move official on Friday.

“Jennie is a true public servant and an asset to the state,” Hobbs said in a tweet Friday. “Since 2014, Jennie has been at Arizona Department of Health Services and has demonstrated leadership through good times and bad.”

Cunico has been with the state’s Department of Health Services since 2014, serving as Deputy Bureau Chief of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Officer for Professional Development and Community Engagement.

Earlier this year, Gov. Hobbs nominated Dr. Theresa Cullen for the post. However following contentious Senate Committee on Director Nomination hearings, the governor opted not to proceed with Cullen’s nomination.

As previously reported, Republicans on the panel took aim at Cullen over her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as director of the Pima County Health Department and came away unimpressed with her answers.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs gives thumbs up to acting director of state health services