She’s become a familiar face over the years, a go-to source for all things health in Santa Barbara, helping us through a number of emergencies.
Governor Jerry Brown’s Office announced Friday that Dr. Charity Dean has been appointed Assistant Director of the California Department of Public Health.
Dr. Dean says it’s been an honor to serve our community and for her, public service is personal.
Dr. Dean has served as the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s Public Health Officer since 2014.
Come November, she will be working in Sacramento.
Dr. Dean says her new role makes her part of the Executive Team for the State Health Department where she’ll be involved in policy level decisions. The new member of Governor Brown’s team says she’s taking what she’s learned on the front lines to a state leadership team.
“Far and away, my favorite memory of my time here is seeing patients in our FQHC Clinics (Federally Qualified Health Clinics). Treating tuberculosis patients taught me a lot about the importance of the safety net. Working on the front lines of public health, treating patient after patient with tuberculosis, doing contact investigations for families that may have been exposed to TB, really teaches you about the importance of policy, the state and state laws,” said Dr. Dean.
While reflecting on her time in Santa Barbara, Dean says she’s learned decisiveness, making the call and going with it to best protect the community.
“I think of all the crisis that I’ve dealt with in my time here, the one that stands out is the meningococcal outbreak at UC Santa Barbara. That was a really scary time, we didn’t know how many more cases there would be. Some of the decisions that I made to stop the outbreak were really gusty.” said Dr. Dean.
This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is around $200,000.
Dr. Dean says as far as her replacement goes, it’s up to the County and she’s sure they’ll do an “aggressive recruitment.”