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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Dr. Barbara Ferrer

Barbara Ferrer smiles wearing a black top and her signature white curly hair.

Nominee Name: Dr. Barbara Ferrer
Organization/Business: L.A. County Department of Public Health
Title: Public Health Director
Website: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Nominators: Ruben Aronin and Azucena Maldonado

“Dr. Barbara Ferrer’s calming voice and her gentle way of being as she informs Angelenos of the latest updates on COVID-19 and its devastating effects on our communities somehow helps me stomach the horrible pandemic we're living in. The pressure must be overwhelming and yet she faces the cameras cool, calm and collected — but more importantly with such grace — she softens the blow of the devastating reports and the county’s health order updates.”

— Azucena Maldonado and Ruben Aronin, Nominators

About Dr. Barbara Ferrer

When she was appointed as the Los Angeles County Public Health Director by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in January 2017, Dr. Barbara Ferrer was deemed uniquely qualified to lead and serve the community’s diverse populations with over 40 years of professional experience as a philanthropic strategist, public health director, educational leader, researcher and community advocate. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Ferrer had served as the chief strategy officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission and director of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention and director of the Division of the Maternal & Child Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ferrer became the voice and face of calm to millions of residents throughout California, dispensing consistent and useful information, sharing the facts as she knew them and encouraging Southern California residents to follow evolving guidelines. She has a proven track record of efforts that build health and education equity and has led a wide range of public health programs building innovative partnerships to address inequities in health outcomes supporting healthy communities and healthy families.

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