Assistant City Manager, interim Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger to leave city job in January

Bridger sent letter of resignation to City Manager Eric Walsh on Oct. 21

Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager of San Antonio and the Metropolitan Health District’s interim director, has notified City Manager Eric Walsh that she will be leaving her post in January.

Bridger had initially planned to leave the city in mid-July to launch a private consulting business. However, she took over as interim director of Metro Health after director Dr. Dawn Emerick resigned in early July, just a few months after taking on the job.

Bridger had served as Metro Health director between March 2017 and July 2019 before being appointed assistant city manager.

“While 2020 has been mostly consumed by COVID-19, we’ve accomplished a lot together in the last three and a half years,” Bridger said in a letter to Walsh. “Three of my favorites are the passing of the Tobacco 21 Ordinance, the community-based work that led to the creation of the Institute for Trauma Informed Care and the formation of the Violence Prevention Division at Metro Health. Each of these entailed immediate benefits to the health and well-being of San Antonians and will continue to improve health outcomes long after both of us are gone.”

In her letter, Bridger also noted the accomplishment of the City of San Antonio’s employees and their numerous achievements during her tenure. She also discussed in her letter how COVID-19 affected her career choices and how difficult it was to put her plans on hold to lead the city’s health response during a crucial period.

“Running point on the City’s response to this ’100-year pandemic’ has been the single most difficult thing I have done professionally,” Bridger’s letter read.

Walsh issued the following statement after the announcement of Bridger’s departure:

“Colleen has done an outstanding job while facing extraordinarily challenges. Her work on Tobacco 21, domestic violence, migrant care and, of course, COVID-19 leave a lasting legacy of which she should be very proud. I am especially appreciative of her dedication to remain with the City through 2020 and continue leading the community through a critical period.”

Bridger’s last day will be Jan. 8, 2021. It’s unclear who will replace her at this time.

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.