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Public Health Director

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under administrative direction, directs departmental operations to meet mandated public health service requirements and needs of Santa Barbara County's medically indigent; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is an at-will department head class. The incumbent is exempt from Civil Service and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator. This position is responsible for the management and implementation and direction on a countywide basis of all public health services provided by the County including: statutory public health services, health education, multiple outpatient clinics providing primary and specialty care, contract hospital services and related programs and activities.


1. Formulates and administers comprehensive public health programs based on needs and available resources; makes recommendations to and consults with the Board of Supervisors on general policies and procedures, goals and proposals and methods of service delivery for public health and clinic care programs.
2. Plans, organizes and directs the work of professional, technical and administrative staff engaged in the delivery of health services; determines types and levels of services to be provided and standards by which delivery will be evaluated; directs the preparation of annual budgets, health care plans and funding applications; monitors and evaluates delivery, performance and expenditures.
3. Disseminates and interprets and implements policies, laws, and regulations of state/federal directives regarding medical and public health issues to physicians, department staff and representatives of hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics and schools; develops positions on proposed legislation and advocates the County's position before state and federal agencies and community groups.
4. Consults and coordinates with federal and state health officials and representatives of local public and private health agencies in the enforcement of health laws and the development of programs to meet public health needs; directs searches for new funding sources and oversees grant application preparation and negotiation; coordinates public health care activities with related services provided by other County departments including Social Services, Mental Health and Environmental Health.
5. Makes public presentations and meets privately with physicians and administrators of health and social service agencies. Secures and maintains community support for public health programs;


1. Progressively responsible high level executive health related administrative experience preferably in a public health setting. Experience should include working with community health care agencies and, responsibility for community contact; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Requirements: Independent travel is required.

Knowledge of: principles and practices and inter-agency responsibilities involved in contemporary public health; federal and state laws and regulations governing the services and work of local public health programs; the organization and purpose of federal and state health departments; relationship between public health associations and community health groups; principles and practices of managing physicians and other medical professionals; and other managers; effective public and community relation practices; public information practices and techniques; practices of health service advocacy; principles and practices of determining and serving community health needs; impact of socio-economic and psychological factors on the effectiveness of health care and general health service delivery; fiscal management, budget administration and control; program budgeting; principles and practices of personnel, and information systems organizational management.

Ability to: Plan, organize, coordinate, and evaluate a variety public health operations to meet community health needs and state/federal laws and regulations within available resources; determine the need and priority of public health programs and establish short and long range goals and objectives; manage physicians and other medical professionals and lay administrators; instill public confidence in the quality of services; determine community health needs and programs needed to meet such needs; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with representatives of federal, state and local health and social service agencies, managers of other County departments, and community leaders; make effective written and oral presentations; act as management spokesperson in dealings with other departments and agencies; persuade and motivate others, problem solve and mediate between groups with diverse points of view.

Desirable Qualifications: A Master's degree in Public Health or Hospital Administration is desirable.

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