San Rafael, CA – Dr. Matt Willis, MD, MPH started his new position as the Public Health Officer for Marin County last week. Willis was selected by the Marin County Board of Supervisors on November 13, 2012.
Willis was previously an Internal Medicine Physician at Marin Community Clinics and served as a part-time Deputy Public Health Officer for Marin County. Willis received a medical degree from Temple University and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University. After completing his residency at Harvard’s Cambridge Hospital, Willis spent six years in the US Public Health Service, including service as a an Epidemic Intelligence officer at the CDC. He is board certified in Internal Medicine.
"We are excited to have Dr. Willis onboard leading our efforts to promote and protect the health, well-being and safety of all in Marin. He brings tremendous medical knowledge, expertise and commitment to excellence in public health,“ stated Larry Meredith, Director for Marin County Health and Human Services Department.
Willis was selected through a rigorous process involving community providers, Marin County physicians, Health and Human Services employees, and public health professionals. During his presentation to Marin County Board of Supervisors, Willis outlined his priorities for Marin County’s public health.
Willis is committed to maintaining vigilance around core public health functions including control of communicable diseases, ongoing disease surveillance, protection against threats to health from our environment, emergency preparedness, and public health laboratory functions. Willis will contribute to the transition of the public health laboratory to a regional laboratory, to help ensure that the new technologies and partnerships that this offers are experienced as progress for Marin residents. These public health functions will remain priorities as core areas Willis wants Marin residents to know are being taken care of behind the scenes around the clock on their behalf.
Willis advocates for effective disease prevention as necessary to any sustainable health system. “We are entering uncharted waters in health care in the United States and in Marin County. Health care reform is upon us, and while specific reforms are being debated one thing is clear— effective disease prevention will be necessary to any sustainable system. And public health, if nothing else, is about prevention,” said Willis. He noted that while Marin consistently ranks among the states healthiest counties, “We could do better. Partnering more effectively with front line providers for disease prevention for all Marin residents is an important step toward addressing the large health disparities that remain with our county.”
Willis lives in San Anselmo with his wife and children. Returning to Marin has given Willis a chance to explore his passion for cycling. An active cyclist, Willis served on the United States National Cycling Team as a professional road cyclist from 1987 to 1990. He welcomes the opportunity to more fully apply his diverse public health and primary care background toward advancing health in Marin as the Public Health Officer. Furthermore, Willis appreciates the opportunity to apply his medical and public health expertise where his lifelong passion for health took root.
Additional Contact Information:
Erin Cochran Farahi, Media Relations, HHS Media Team
EFarahi@marincounty.org 415-473-2624 (Direct Line)