Public Health Director Jill Franken Announces Retirement

After 20 years of dedicated service to the City of Sioux Falls, Public Health Director Jill Franken announced her plans to retire on April 12, 2021.

“It’s been my privilege to serve the community of Sioux Falls over the past two decades,” Franken said. “My work has focused on facilitating positive change and making an impact by addressing public health issues in our community, and I am proud of how we have accomplished that as a City team over the years. It certainly was a difficult decision because of the importance of this work and the people I work with on a daily basis. However, I look forward to finding new ways to continue to make a positive impact while in retirement.”

Franken began her career with the City of Sioux Falls in 2000 as a Public Health Manager. She was promoted to the Assistant Director of Public Health in 2006 and appointed as Public Health Director in 2010, a position that also serves as Executive Director of Falls Community Health (FCH). Prior to her work with the City of Sioux Falls, Franken worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse for nine years and held women’s and children’s management roles for Avera for eight years. Franken holds a Master’s degree from the University of South Dakota and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University (SDSU). Among many honors, she was named a Distinguished Alumni Honoree from SDSU in 2012.

While with the City, Franken has led many pivotal public health initiatives, including the development of FCH school-based health services and homeless health care services. She has spearheaded health promotion efforts such as the “Live Well Sioux Falls” initiative and “Anyone, Anywhere, Even Here” mental illness awareness campaign. Franken also provided critical leadership in the City’s response during the challenges of the H1N1 (swine flu) and COVID-19 pandemics. She was also instrumental in the passage of community tobacco policy in 2017 and provided leadership of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the ambulance franchise agreement contract award to Patient Care EMS.

“Jill’s contributions and service to the City of Sioux Falls have been significant over her 20-year career,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken. “I am grateful for her service and her steady leadership over the past year as we’ve navigated our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, as she has been a public health rock for this community. She will be missed, and I wish her and her family the best following her retirement.”

Franken is an active member of the community and has served on numerous community boards, including Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition Board, the Community Health Association of the Dakotas, Volunteers of America Dakotas, Southeast Technical Institute Housing Foundation, and the Teddy Bear Den.

The search for the City’s next Public Health Director will begin immediately and in partnership with the Falls Community Health Board. The Mayor’s appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the City Council. 

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