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René G. Santiago Appointed as New Deputy County Executive

Seasoned Executive will be responsible for Health and Hospital Oversight

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – County of Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith has announced the appointment of René G. Santiago as a new Deputy County Executive. Santiago, who will step into the new role on February 6, will be chiefly responsible for serving as the liaison and providing general direction to the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, including SCVMC, Public Health, Mental Health, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Services, Custody Health Services, Ambulatory Care and Community Health Services, Valley Health Plan and Community Outreach Services, and Finance. The position reports to the County Executive.

“We’re delighted to have Santiago joining our team,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “His experience will be a great asset in the County’s efforts to promote, protect, and improve community health as well as in finding creative solutions to the serious financial pressures we’re facing in the current economic environment.”

Santiago currently serves as deputy director/general manager for the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Service Agency where he has led local efforts to expand healthcare coverage, improve access to care, and integrate services across the physical health, mental health, and social services continuum. He is the executive lead for health care reform initiatives and directly manages over $200 million in health and human services programs that employ nearly 1,000 staff members. The programs serve nearly one million residents in the Central and South regions of San Diego County. Santiago is directly responsible for the operations of six major family resource centers, two public health centers, and child welfare services to over 1,500 child dependents, low-income health programs servicing more than 20,000 residents, the county general assistance program, and collaborating with more than 75 community-based service partners providing a wide range of children, homeless, and family-based social services.

Santiago began his professional career managing federally qualified health centers serving the underserved populations in greater East Los Angeles, near the community of Boyle Heights where he grew up. In 1995, he went to work for Los Angeles County in the Office of Health Crisis Management. He soon moved to the Department of Health Services for LA County as the director of a Medicaid (Medical) Demonstration Project. Santiago spent his last year with LA County as the director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Evaluation. During his years living in Los Angeles he also served as a Planning Commissioner on the County’s Regional Planning Commission and the City’s Affordable Housing Commission. He was recruited to San Diego County in 2002 where he has lived and worked professionally.

“My family and I are very excited to join the Santa Clara County community,” said Santiago. “I’m looking forward to working with the excellent team at the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, Dr. Smith and the Board of Supervisors to improve the health status of residents in collaboration with our community partners.”

Raised in East Los Angeles where his family relocated from Mexico, Mr. Santiago attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare Policy and Planning in 1984. He also attained dual Masters’ degrees in City & Regional Planning and Health Policy and Administration from UC Berkeley in 1987. Years later, he attended the University of California Los Angeles for graduate doctoral work in Public Health.

Santiago will be relocating with his wife of nine years Yolanda and seven year old son Adrian. His starting salary will be $210,231.84.

About Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System
Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, the County’s healthcare agency which is comprised of a myriad of departments including Mental Health, Public Health, Alcohol and Drug Services, Ambulatory and Community Health Services, Valley Health Plan, and Valley Medical Center, a 575-bed acute care teaching hospital and a comprehensive network of clinics.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119
Posted: December 15, 2011