10022023_BHCPH Press Release_BOH Names New Health Director

Press Releases


October 2, 2023


Contact: Black Hawk County Public Health



Board of Health Names New Health Director


After an extensive search, the Black Hawk County Board of Health unanimously named Kaitlin Emrich, MPH as the new Public Health Director in a special meeting today. Emrich is currently serving as the Interim Director.

Emrich is an Iowa native and has dedicated her career in public health to serving communities throughout the state of Iowa.  Her professional background includes 14 years of experience working in local public health, ten of which have been in managerial positions. Emrich joined Black Hawk County Public Health in 2021 in the role of Deputy Director. Before serving as Deputy Director, she worked for Linn County Public Health as a Public Health Epidemiologist and as the Assessment and Health Promotion Manager. Emrich has received recognition from the University of Iowa and Corridor Business Journal for her leadership in improving community health and her role as lead Public Information Officer during the COVID-19 response. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Iowa and is a graduate of the Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute.

Wes Pilkington, Board of Health Chair, said the board is thrilled to be hiring such an experienced and competent public health professional to fill the vacancy created when former director Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye left to pursue other opportunities.

“Ms. Emrich has excelled in the position of Interim Director,” Pilkington said.  “The board is thankful for the work she has done over the last year, and we are elated she will be fulfilling the role of director moving forward.”

Emrich is committed to the vision and mission of Black Hawk County Public Health and is looking forward to leading the department with the support of the Black Hawk County Board of Health.

“I am energized by the direction public health is heading, but also acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead,” said Emrich. “I am honored for the opportunity to lead the department alongside such a dedicated team and look forward to implementing innovative and collaborative ways to improve the quality of life for the community we serve.”

The Board of Health voted 5-0 to approve Emrich for the position. She will begin in her new role on October 9, 2023.



Black Hawk County Public Health exists to ensure that people in our community have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilling, and longer lives. Established in1969, the health department's mission is to protect people in our community from health hazards, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease. Black Hawk County Public Health was accredited by the National Public Health Accreditation.