MARTINEZ, CA ― Dr. Rohan C. Radhakrishna, a deputy health officer for Contra Costa County, has been appointed as the new deputy director for the California Department of Public Heath’s (CDPH) Office of Health Equity. The position requires Senate confirmation.
Dr. Radhakrishna will lead the state office, which works to reduce the health disparities experienced by impacted communities in California, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a disproportionate toll on low-income Californians, people of color and others who were already facing longstanding health inequities before the crisis hit.
“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Radhakrishna’s leadership in our mission to care for and improve the health of all Contra Costans, with special attention to our most vulnerable community members,” said Anna Roth, Contra Costa County Health Director. “It is a pleasure to work with him, and I am confident that his skill and energy will benefit all of California at this critical time.”
As deputy health officer for Contra Costa County, Dr. Radhakrishna has helped lead the county’s emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as serving the community during power shutoffs, industrial explosions, wildfire smoke and heat emergencies. He has been the Health Department’s spokesperson for Spanish-speaking media. Since 2019 Dr. Radhakrishna has also served as co-chair of the Health Equity Committee at the California Conference of Local Health Officers.
Dr. Radhakrishna is a family medicine doctor, caring for patients at West County Health Center in San Pablo and served as department chair of Family and Adult Medicine for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) from 2015 to 2019.
‘Nerdy high schooler’
“Ever since I was a nerdy high schooler in Kansas reading critical race theory and deep ecology, I’ve known that racism, socioeconomic inequity, and climate change are the greatest health threats of our past, present and future,” said Dr. Radhakrishna, 40, now a resident of Oakland. “I’m humbled and honored to now work on these exact issues to help create a California For All.”
More recently, he served on the Steering Committee for AB 617 California’s Community Air Protection Program, a state bill to reduce exposure in communities most impacted by air pollution and served as an advisor for California’s Chronic Disease Prevention Leadership Project and the CDPH’s Center for Healthy Communities.
Dr. Radhakrishna did his residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and was a CCHS Change Agent Fellow.