TORRINGTON – Moving on is not how Heather Saul would describe her departure from Public Health.
“It’s a see you later, not goodbye,” said Saul.
On Thursday, Saul left her position of five and one-half years at Public Health as the emergency response coordinator, but two days prior she talked about her time there and what is next.
Saul specialized in pandemics and infectious diseases before COVID-19 appeared in China. She started preparing for the virus with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before it was first discovered in America. Saul has worked hard for the past year and a half to keep her community safe. Now she is ready to take a step back before she continues to help.
“Its just a moment to step back and just look at some other doors that are opening,” Saul said. “I love my job and I love what I do.”
Saul said while at the University of Nebraska Medical Center she worked with Public Health in one of her first clinical rotations. It is where she found a new interest in the medical world.
“At the moment, it triggered, like this is what I want to do. I wanted to go more into that science and the statistics,” Saul said.
The past five and one-half years have been good according to Saul, but she also reiterated it is time to look at other opportunities available.
“I don’t know what the whole future holds. I just know that there’s some opportunities that are out there,” Saul said. “I if I don’t try, I’ll never know.”
What Saul does know is she wants to continue to help the community.
“It will still definitely be in the path of what I’m doing just in a different setting,” Saul said.
Staying in the community, or at least the region, is in important to Saul because she has been part of it for so long. Something the pandemic has shown is how different each state and even each county can be when dealing with a situation. Saul saw this firsthand with Public Health.
“It comes to our level and it’s just what can we do because our county is not Platte County, our county isn’t Niobrara County. We’re Goshen County and that’s the very important thing,” Saul said.
Something which Saul believes has got lost in the pandemic is Public Health’s role.
“For us at Public health, we are just the messenger, we aren’t the enforcer. I don’t think people understand that” Saul said.
She also addressed the attacks and threats she has received and seen at her workplace but clarified it is not why she is leaving. Saul said she respects everyone’s opinions and hopes the community can meet on a common ground.
While Saul is leaving her position at Public Health, she still has her other areas of service which she will continue to do such as her position in the military, where she has served for the past 22 years, the Wyoming Medical Center and Red Cross.
“I have a lot going on and it’s just time to take a step back,” Saul Said.
Although Saul will not be returning to Public Health, it will continue to be a part of who she is.
"I might not be there at Public Health, but I will always represent Public Health,” Saul said.
While the next opportunity is unknown to Saul at this point, she is confident it will be helping the community in the same way but in a new setting.