The San Juan Basin Health Department is about to find itself in the firm grasp of the La Plata County commissioners and headed for an overhaul.
Expect them, along with their peers in Archuleta County, to serve at least temporarily as the organization's governing board while programs are organized to better advantage and an effort is made to spend dollars as effectively as possible.
The county's treasurer will handle the organization's finances.
In the coming months, residents will see a review of the 62-year-old, $6 million public-health department's mission and activities, and its staffing.
The organization serves thousands through dozens of programs funded in a multitude of ways, and there is the feeling in state and county leadership that it is time to reconsider how it is shaped and organized.
Senate Bill 134, signed in 2008, is mandating the reorganization of public-health departments across the state. By July, a new organizational structure - county or district - must be in place.
It is not that anything is broken at San Juan Basin Health, or any harm has been done to any individual or group, we are told, but that health departments in general may not be positioned to provide the best possible preventive care and community emergency responses.
State legislation now is mandating that restructuring.
Our caution is that change looks to be coming very fast, and may risk shunting good people and good works aside. There is uncertainty and suspicion among department staff members, and morale must be suffering.
Any changes may not be complemented by the planning work just under way for a proper local medical clinic, either.
And while a public-health department focuses on community health needs, particularly preventive, and not individual needs, there may be a role it can play in increasing the delivery of family practitioner services in the county.
We know some of the solution to adequate health-care delivery lies in more collaboration.
Tuesday evening's meeting to reorganize San Juan Basin Health's governing structure and to determine what services are needed for the years ahead will be full of content.
Health care, including preventive health care, is on everyone's mind as costs soar and some availability declines.
Let's be certain La Plata County has a public-health department that suits its needs, now and in the future.