ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Department of Health Services names 1st chief heat officer

Mar 6, 2024, 4:00 PM

ADHS named its first chief heat officer on March 6, 2024. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...

ADHS named its first chief heat officer on March 6, 2024. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services on Wednesday named its first statewide chief heat officer that will carry out plans to combat extreme weather.

Eugene Livar will be in charge of adapting and updating emergency response plans, improving cooling center networks, making safe and affordable housing available, and more.

Livar has been with ADHS since 2012, most recently serving as assistant director for public health preparedness.

“I’m excited to take on this role and this important work to make sure Arizona is prepared as possible for this upcoming heat season and beyond,” Livar said in a press release.

The announcement comes less than a week after Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the state’s first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan.

Livar will work with the state, county health departments, local municipalities, communities, the private sector and community-based organizations to carry out the plan.

ADHS also hired a heat relief coordinator to serve as the point-of-contact for county coordinators. The coordinator will develop training for community navigators that will improve access to human service providers.

“ADHS is proud to play a role in meeting this moment and working to fix a complex problem facing Arizonans and we will handle this responsibility with the care it deserves,” Jennie Cunico, ADHS cabinet executive officer, said in the release.

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Arizona Department of Health Services names 1st chief heat officer