Leslie Horton, director of Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS), has been recognized by the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Initiative as the “Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health” recipient.
The organization selected Horton in August, citing her “leadership and cooperative attitude in seeking ways to make lasting contributions to public health issues that have demonstrated the effects of rural health at the county, state and national level.”
Horton said the COVID-19 pandemic has posed additional health issues for YCCHS.; the pandemic has demonstrated how dedicated public health personnel can guide and impact communities in positive ways through difficult times.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish during this time,” she said.
Horton credited the team she works with as the real award winners. She said she was blessed to have such dedicated colleagues who devoted their personal and professional skills to their jobs.
Horton administers a public health department of 85 employees. They range from physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners to environmental health specialists, dietitians, and office and operational staff. They travel to every community in Yavapai County, where they provide more than 30 major public health operations and programs. Collectively, they serve a population of more than 240,000. YCCHS has a budget of about $6.7 million, supplemented by grants and contributions.
Horton, an 18-year employee of Yavapai County, was named YCCHS director in 2017. She previously had been a health educator with the county.
Horton, who was born and raised in Alaska, moved to Arizona so she could attend Northern Arizona University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in health science in 2003 and a master’s degree in public health in 2006.
Horton is a board member for MATFORCE, Northland Cares, Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition and the Gardner Family Teacher Scholarship Foundation.