June 23, 2000

Escoboza Appointed to Lead County Health Agency

San Diego County Chief Administrative Officer Walter Ekard today announced that he has appointed veteran County health executive Steve A. Escoboza as Interim Director of the County's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). He replaces Dr. Robert Ross, who has accepted a post with the California Endowment. Escoboza will begin the transition immediately, and will work closely with Dr. Ross through mid-July.

Escoboza has held a number of top health and management positions in his almost 30-year government career. From 1985-1992, he served as San Diego County's Assistant Director of Health and Assistant Director of Personnel. Then, after serving as Director of Santa Barbara County's Health Department and President/CEO of Los Angeles County's Community Health Plan, he returned to San Diego County in 1999 to oversee several high-profile health programs, including the Access to Healthcare Initiative, approved by the Board of Supervisors on June 13.

"I am extremely pleased to have someone with Steve's experience and dedication here, ready to step into this important position," Ekard said. "With his extensive knowledge of health care issues and his management experience, he will be able to continue the progress we've made in implementing the Board of Supervisors' ambitious health care goals."

Escoboza added, "I am honored to have been selected for this assignment. I look forward to working with the Board, County managers, the health care community and the public to expand the health care safety net in San Diego County and to continue the efforts already underway to transform our Agency to best meet our customers' needs."

As Interim Director of the County's Health and Human Services Agency, Escoboza will manage a wide variety of programs that provide services to families, children and seniors. The Agency has 6,000 employees and a budget of $1.2 billion.

The County plans to conduct a national search before selecting a permanent HHSA Director.

Escoboza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Public Health degree. He resides in Encinitas.

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