Gallatin County Health Officer Kelley Announces Departure


Bozeman, Montana – Matt Kelley, Health Officer at Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD), announced on Wednesday that he has accepted a new position as the first chief executive officer of the Montana Public Health Institute (MTPHI). Kelley will step down as Health Officer, but plans to continue working full-time in his current position until sometime in June in order to lead the department in its pandemic response and to assist in a search for the county’s next health officer.

“As challenging and trying as the pandemic has been, I love being health officer in Gallatin County and leaving will be very difficult,” Kelley said. “This new role allows me to continue working throughout Montana to improve the health and quality of life for all Montanans. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build a new organization to serve the state that I love.”

Kelley became health officer in Gallatin County 11 years ago and has helped guide GCCHD to assemble and grow a highly qualified staff, develop financial resources and community partnerships necessary to serve a rapidly growing county, and address major public health challenges, such as COVID-19.

Kelley holds an undergraduate degree from Drake University in journalism and a master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Mr. Kelley’s past work includes: working on Capitol Hill as a newspaper reporter; service as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa where he worked on health and clean water projects; and working on health and mental health policy and programming within the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Kelley said he will use those experiences at MTPHI to strengthen and support public health systems throughout Montana.

Becky Franks, chair of Gallatin City-County Board of Health, said the Board would commence with a search for Kelley’s successor immediately. She said the Board will be looking for someone to carry on the work pursued by Kelley and the health department staff over the past 11 years.

“Matt has led with fortitude as an exemplary health officer,” Franks said. “He and his team have improved the health and well-being of our community and the department through exceptional growth that happened during his tenure. His leadership will continue to benefit our community as he works to improve the public health system across Montana. It’s been an honor to work with him,” Franks said.

Kelley said leaving the health department was an especially difficult decision. But, he said, the new position will allow him to work with public health colleagues and communities all across the state in new ways.

“Joining MTPHI is a unique and exciting opportunity for me to serve public health in a new capacity,” said Kelley. “My commitment to the public health system in Montana is stronger than ever and I look forward to building an organization that improves the health and quality of life for Montanans by working to connect, strengthen, and amplify the public health system.”

For more information about MTPHI, visit


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