Dr. Kismet Baldwin-Santana has been appointed as San Mateo County’s health officer to succeed Dr. Scott Morrow, who is retiring after 31 years of the service to the County.
Dr. Baldwin-Santana, who currently serves as interim health officer in Sonoma County and brings over 30 years of experience as a health officer, will start her new role on Aug. 7. Dr. Morrow will continue to serve as health officer until that time.
Dr. Baldwin-Santana’s early experiences as a physician caring for infants and families impacted by substance abuse inspired her career in public health and engagement in public health prevention strategies. She has been a deputy health officer in Sonoma County, a health officer in San Joaquin County, and a quarantine medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She started her career as a neonatologist after receiving her medical degree from Ohio State University.
“Our recovery from the pandemic requires experienced leadership that addresses the health inequities highlighted by the pandemic,” said Supervisor Dave Pine, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “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.”
Dr. Baldwin-Santana said, “As a health officer in the Bay Area, I have worked with many wonderful colleagues in San Mateo County on regional initiatives, including response to COVID-19, mpox, and other public health matters. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build on Dr. Morrow’s decades of service and commitment to the residents of San Mateo County.”
Health officers are responsible for guiding the local response to disease outbreak, promoting disease prevention, enforcing public health laws and regulations, coordinating local medical and health resources during a disaster, and advising elected officials on health policy, according to the County.
Photo courtesy of San Mateo County