Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has named La Jolla resident Mark Horton to be California’s public health officer.
The state health officer is responsible for advising the governor, the secretary of Health and Human Services and the director of the Department of Health Services on public health issues. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation and pays $200,000 a year, according to the governor’s office.
Horton, a Democrat with nearly three decades of experience in public health, is a pediatrician. He has served as the deputy agency director and health officer for the Orange County Health Care Agency since 1999, according to Schwarzenegger’s office.
Before that, he served as director of the Center for Healthier Communities for Children at San Diego Children’s Hospital and Health Center. Horton has also served in several academic positions, including adjunct professor for the San Diego State University School of Public Health; faculty pediatrician for the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and assistant professor for the Department of Pediatrics at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb.