News Release
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313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806  |  Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  (213) 288-8144  |

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For Immediate Release:

January 10, 2017

Board of Supervisors Appoints Dr. Barbara Ferrer as New Director For Public Health

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, a nationally known public health leader, to the position of Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) effective February 6, 2017. As Director of Public Health, Dr. Ferrer will work under the Los Angeles County Health Agency (Health Agency) to further its mission to integrate services and activities that enable the Health Agency to build health equity across the county. Work will continue in advancing the eight strategic priorities in the Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, and Public Health.

“Dr. Ferrer is uniquely qualified to lead and serve Los Angeles County’s diverse populations, and has a gift for engaging youth and families,” said Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas. “I look forward to the energy and creativity that she will bring to protecting the health of our communities during this time of uncertainty in federal healthcare policy.”

Most recently, Dr. Ferrer worked as the Chief Strategy Officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission where she led a range of public health programs and built innovative partnerships to promote health and education, improve family economic security and address racial health disparities.

“I would like to thank the Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to join the leadership of the Health Agency as Director of Public Health,” said Dr. Ferrer. “I am excited to lead the talented, dedicated staff of over 4000 employees who work tirelessly to make health possible for all in Los Angeles County, particularly the most vulnerable populations.”

Dr. Ferrer earned a doctorate from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, where she was a Pew Doctoral Fellow. She also holds a master’s degree in public health from Boston University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit, and follow Public Health on social media at,, and