Nevada County fills public health officer role
After six months without its own public health officer in the midst of a pandemic, Nevada County on Thursday announced Dr. Scott Kellermann will fill the role, starting New Year’s Day.
“I look forward to engaging in public health in Nevada County, particularly with an immunization campaign to end the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Kellermann said in a press release. “I look forward to giving back to Nevada County the kindness and generosity that has been shown to me.”
Kellermann has extensive history in Nevada County public health, practicing family medicine for two decades in a Nevada City outpatient facility that grew into the Western Sierra Clinic, and previously serving as chief of staff at Sierra Nevada Hospital.
In 2001, Kellermann relocated to Uganda and created what eventually became the Bwindi Community Hospital, a 175-bed medical and dental facility serving the Batwa pygmy people.
He was awarded the Dr. Nathan Davis International Award by the American Medical Association for his work’s positive impact on global health care in 2018.
Kellermann’s contract will go before the Board of Supervisors for formal approval at its Jan. 12 meeting. Dr. Glennah Trochet will remain deputy public health officer.
According to Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver, his appointment comes at a crucial time as the county prepares for vaccine distribution.
“He will play an integral integral role in the vaccination planning and vaccination rollout,” he said.
Gruver said filling the role will also allow Trochet to focus more time on supporting the county’s congregate facilities, which have seen outbreaks leading to deaths.
“We could not be more grateful for the support that she’s offered in being willing to spend many more hours than she originally signed up for,” Gruver said.
Following the resignation of former public health officer Dr. Ken Cutler, the position remained vacant for six months, a delay caused by the pandemic and the rough market it created for recruiting.
The politicization of pubic health decisions across the nation has caused health officials to face criticism from the public, ranging from protests to threats.
“A lot of public health officers are being put into a very political position across the state and across the country,” Human Resources Director Steve Rose has said.
In September, former Placer County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson resigned after the Board of Supervisors rescinded an order declaring COVID-19 as a public health emergency. She became the Yolo County Public Health Officer the same month.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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