New HHSA Deputy Public Health Officer Brings Wealth of Experience

The County Health and Human Services Agency is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric C. McDonald, M.D., as the new Deputy Public Health Officer for San Diego County.

McDonald earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 1981 and received his Medical Degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 1985. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Naval Medical Center, San Diego and served a total of 24 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, including two combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His last military assignment was at Camp Pendleton as the I Marine Expeditionary Force Surgeon, where he supervised primary and preventive care for over 25,000 Marines and sailors in Southern California. 

“The County is ecstatic to find someone like Dr. McDonald who has such a diverse background and has contributed to our community directly through his work with the military,” said Walt Ekard, Chief Administrative Officer, County of San Diego. “He will be a wonderful addition to our already stellar Health and Human Services Agency and its Public Health Services team.”

McDonald is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a Clinical Instructor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has conducted research in traumatic brain injury through the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and is a consultant on the medical effects of chemical and biological weapons. He practiced emergency medicine at Naval Medical Center, San Diego from 2005 to 2010 and he most recently was the project coordinator for Safety Net Connect at Community Health Improvement Partners. 

“McDonald brings both practical experience and proven leadership skills that will further assist the Agency in its efforts to protect the public’s health from existing and constantly evolving biothreats,” said Nick Macchione, Director of the County Health and Human Services Agency. “He also brings a wealth of clinical expertise that will be particularly beneficial in the implementation of the County’s Health Strategy Agenda, Building Better Health.”     

McDonald’s first day was Nov. 5.