FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 1999
Contact: Diane Thomas
Board of Supervisors
Appoints Public Health Officer
The Orange County Board of Supervisors last night appointed
a physician with clinical, academic, executive administration,
and public health experience as the Countys Director
of Public Health/Health Officer. Dr. Mark B. Horton becomes
the Countys highest ranking physician and will serve
as the Health Care Agencys Medical Director.
Horton comes to the County from the Childrens Hospital
and Health Center in San Diego where he served as Vice
President for Community Programs, Director of the Center
for Child Protection and Director for the Center for Healthier
Communities for Children. While there he won a $2.1 million
grant from the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning
to establish a Southern California Medical Training Center
to educate health professionals about child abuse. He
also implemented a $2.7 million grant from the California
Endowment to enhance and expand home visiting services
to prevent child abuse and improve childrens health.
Horton was also a leader in developing a countywide partnership
to provide home visiting services to all San Diego County
families to help reduce the mistreatment of children and
improve their health.
"Dr. Horton has demonstrated a passion for the prevention
of child abuse and a keen interest in integrating public
health with other health care and social services,"
said Charles V. Smith, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
"We were also impressed with his skills as an excellent
communicator and listener. Hes going to provide
strong leadership in an important area and were
proud to have him join the County family."
Horton is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He completed
his undergraduate and medical degrees at St. Louis University.
He received his training in pediatrics at Childrens
Memorial Hospital in Chicago and at Duke University Medical
Center where he completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics
as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.
He earned a Master of Science in Public Health Degree
at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School
of Public Health.
Prior to his work in San Diego, Horton was Director of
Health for the State of Nebraska for five and a half years.
Horton has served in the National Health Service Corps
in rural North Carolina, directed academic ambulatory
pediatrics programs at two university medical centers,
practiced pediatrics at the Boys Town National Research
Hospital, and has served as a volunteer physician in the
Dominican Republic and for the Indian Chicano Health Center
As the Countys Director of Public Health/Health
Officer, Horton will oversee 1,200 employees and an FY
1999-00 budget of $97 million. Services that fall within
the Public Health umbrella include Communicable Disease
Control, Environmental Health, Health Promotion &
Disease Prevention, Field Nursing, Tobacco Use Prevention,
Employee Health, Dental Health Services, Public Health
Laboratory, Juvenile Health, California Children Services,
Epidemiology, Maternal & Child Health, and Animal
Control & Shelter. His annual salary will be $144,310.