February 21, 2024

Berkeley’s well being director has been chosen to steer the Marin County Division of Well being and Human Providers.

Marin supervisors had been anticipated to verify the appointment of Lisa Warhuus at their assembly on Tuesday.

Warhuus had spent near 4 years as the highest well being official in Berkeley, the place she oversaw an working price range of greater than $100 million and greater than 200 workers throughout varied divisions, together with public well being, psychological well being, environmental well being, housing and neighborhood companies, and ageing companies.

Previous to her tenure in Berkeley, Warhuus spent a decade on the Alameda County Well being Care Providers Company as a director of kids and youth initiatives and affiliate director.

Warhuus holds a bachelor’s diploma in psychology from the College of California, Berkeley, and grasp’s and doctoral levels in psychology from Aarhus College in Denmark.

“We really feel very lucky to have somebody with Dr. Warhuus’ expertise and skill be part of our govt crew,” mentioned County Government Matthew Hymel. “All through her profession, Dr. Warhuus has demonstrated a capability to convey stakeholders collectively to successfully deal with our most complicated neighborhood challenges.”

Warhuus mentioned she utilized when she realized of the opening. “I actually wished the chance to work at a bigger scale,” she mentioned.

As Marin’s director, Warhuus will oversee greater than 800 full-time equal employees positions and handle an annual price range of $258 million. Her annual wage shall be $288,433 with advantages.

Marin’s former director, Benita McLarin, was receiving an annual wage of $302,868 when she retired on the finish of December.

“I really feel just like the job that I’ve now has ready me for fairly a little bit of the work that occurs in HHS in Marin,” Warhuus mentioned.

Berkeley, like Marin, locations an emphasis on allotting well being and housing companies in an equitable, fairly than an equal, technique to these in want.

As Warhuus states on her LinkedIn web page, Berkeley “holds fairness because the grounding level for every of the six HHCS divisions and works to reply to crucial public well being and housing points by prioritizing neighborhood members who’re furthest from alternative, which in Berkeley are primarily Black, Indigenous and different folks of coloration, and unhoused neighborhood members.”

Likewise, because the affiliate director of the Alameda County Well being Care Providers Company, Warhuus administered “school-based well being companies to attain well being and schooling fairness throughout 18 college districts in Alameda County.”

Warhuus has additionally labored periodically as a marketing consultant teaching companies, nonprofits and authorities organizations in such areas as “change administration, battle decision, and variety and inclusion practices.”

Warhuus mentioned that in Berkeley, “We offer well being care assets to essentially the most susceptible.”

That meant that throughout the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkeley well being care employees made it as straightforward as doable for deprived folks to get vaccinated. They vaccinated folks in church buildings the place Black folks worshipped, in homeless shelters and the properties of the disabled.

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public well being officer, mentioned, “All through the pandemic Berkeley and Marin had been shut collaborators, as a result of we shared related challenges and objectives. I vastly admire Lisa Warhuus’ pandemic response. In reality we borrowed a few of their early vaccine fairness methods, together with expanded cell outreach.”

One other side of Warhuss’s work in Berkeley dovetails along with her new job in Marin: Berkeley is within the means of rolling out a two-year, $4.5 million specialized-care-unit program.

“Traditionally, Berkeley has had a cell disaster crew that’s mainly a co-response mannequin, the place any individual calls 911 after which the dispatch sends out a psychological well being crew together with the police,” Warhuus mentioned. “This new mannequin is a pilot to see if we are able to ship cell disaster with out police.”

Marin County started increasing its cell disaster crew capabilities following calls to defund the police after the loss of life of George Floyd throughout an arrest in Minneapolis in 2020.

Warhuss mentioned she grew up in Berkeley throughout the Seventies and Eighties as “a part of a combined racial family.” Her father labored as a salesman and her mom is an artist.