Board of Supervisors appoint new Public Health Officer

Within hours of being appointed, Riverside County’s new public health officer, Dr. Geoffrey Leung, received words of praise from Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D.

“I applaud the appointment of Dr. Leung as the new public health officer for Riverside County’s public health officer Our County will benefit from his new leadership to lead the County out of the pandemic. I look forward to working with him and the County to bring more COVID-19 vaccines into our communities and to address the pandemic with an effective approach that prioritizes health equity.”

During Tuesday’s closed session meeting, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors appointed Dr. Geoffrey Leung as the county’s new health officer, effective immediately.

Dr. Leung has been an integral member in the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past year. Most recently, Dr. Leung has led the county’s Incident Management Team for the Riverside County vaccine rollout since December.

Leung“I am honored to serve in this new capacity and look forward to continuing the important work of the department as we focus on recovering from this pandemic,” Dr. Leung said in a prepared statement. “Public health, at its core, is about protecting communities from disease, preserving health and prolonging life. This pandemic has underscored how critical public health is to our everyday lives and ensuring the health of our communities.”

The county health officer enforces county ordinances, as well as state and federal statutes pertaining to public health and sanitary matters within the unincorporated areas of the county, and within all cities in Riverside County.

Dr. Leung earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He started in the County of Riverside in 2006 and has held the position of Ambulatory Medical Director for Riverside University Health System (RUHS) for the last five years. He’s also been the chair of family medicine for RUHS for the past nine years.

The county’s former health officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, is no longer employed by the county. The  county executive officer made the decision earlier Tuesday.

“I want to thank Dr. Kaiser for his tireless work throughout this pandemic in service to our residents, communities, county agencies, cities, school districts and many other groups,” CEO Jeff Van Wagenen said in a prepared statement.


Image Sources

  • Leung: Riverside Ccounty
  • Public Health: Shutterstock