Contra Costa Supervisors appoint new county health officer

Dr. Ori Tzvieli during a Jan. 22, 2021 online press conference. Source: Screenshot of CCHealth Services YouTube video

Farnitano retiring next month; Tzvieli will also hold title and role of county’s Director of Public Health

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors today appointed Dr. Ori Tzvieli as the county’s new Health Officer.

Dr. Tzvieli has helped to lead the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years as a deputy health officer.

He fills a vacancy left by Dr. Chris Farnitano, who has stepped down from the role in preparation for retirement after more than 30 years caring for Contra Costa County residents.

“Dr. Farnitano will be missed. We are glad Dr. Tzvieli is ready to step into a role that is so crucial for the health and safety of our county residents during the pandemic,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff. “Over the past two years, both of them have contributed to one of the finest local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in California.”

Each county in California appoints a health officer who has broad authority under state Health & Safety Code and are responsible for protecting the health of residents within their jurisdictions.

“Dr. Tzvieli has helped to lead our county’s emergency response since the beginning. We are fortunate to have someone with his experience and community knowledge ready to step up,” Contra Costa Health Director Anna Roth said. “I am very confident that he will help to continue our strong efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County.”

Dr. Tzvieli joined Contra Costa Health (CCH) as a family medicine resident at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) in 2000, launching a career in the county’s healthcare delivery system that has led to several leadership roles, including Medical Staff President, Ambulatory Care Medical Director, Public Health Medical Director and now Director of Public Health, serving under Director Roth.

During his time with CCH, Dr. Tzvieli has championed collaborative efforts to address opioid addiction and cared for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents as medical director of the Health Care for the Homeless program.

Dr. Farnitano will formally retire in March after a celebrated career at CCH. He became Contra Costa County Health Officer in July 2018, after previously serving as Ambulatory Care Medical Director at CCRMC and Family Medicine Department Chair, among other roles.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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