San Mateo and Sonoma Counties Welcome New Health Officers

Dr. Kismet Baldwin-Santana has assumed the role of Public Health Officer for the County of San Mateo, becoming the first woman to ever occupy the post. She succeeds Dr. Scott Morrow, who has retired after more than three decades with the county.

Baldwin-Santana most recently served as the interim public health officer for Sonoma County. Previously, she served as the deputy health officer. She has also worked for San Joaquin County as a health officer and as a quarantine medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Dr. Baldwin-Santana is uniquely positioned to guide us as we continue to shape a public health system that will help San Mateo County residents live longer and better lives,” said Dave Pine, president of the Board of Supervisors.  

Sonoma County has hired a new interim health officer to replace Baldwin-Santana. Dr. Karen Smith is a veteran public health expert whose resume spans multiple continents. She previously served as California’s public health czar, and has also worked for the counties of Napa and Santa Clara.

Smith told the Press Democrat that she’s excited to “keep the machine running” until a permanent health officer is chosen.

She may not have to keep it running for long. Sonoma County Health Services Director Tina Rivera announced Tuesday that her department is prepared to make a hiring recommendation to the Board of Supervisors following a nationwide search. 

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