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Kismet Baldwin-Santana, MD
Health Officer

Image of Kismet Baldwin-Santana, MD

Dr. Kismet Baldwin-Santana joined San Mateo County as health officer in 2023. Appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the health officer has broad authority under California law to prevent disease and issue health orders. The health officer serves as a principal spokesperson and a trusted voice during outbreaks or emergencies.

Most recently the interim health officer in Sonoma County, Dr. Baldwin-Santana has been a deputy health officer in Sonoma County, a health officer in San Joaquin County, and a quarantine medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She has been deeply involved in public health work since earning her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a Doctor of Medicine degree at Ohio State University. She did post-doctoral work at UCLA where she studied ways to reduce the incidence of sickle cell disease.

Early in her career as a neonatologist in New Hampshire, Dr. Baldwin-Santana developed treatment plans and managed care for newborns experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome due to exposure to opioids in the womb.

As COVID-19 pandemic began, she served as a quarantine medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at San Francisco International Airport. She supervised entry-screening procedures and assessed travelers’ disease exposure, working with local health care providers and agencies, including San Mateo County Health, to prevent further spread.

As Sonoma County’s deputy health officer, she oversaw COVID-19 testing, vaccine administration, case investigation and contact tracing and participated in the region’s coordination and response through the Association of Bay Area Health Officials.

During the pandemic, she also made time to complete a master’s degree in public health at the University of California, Berkeley.

In her spare time, Baldwin-Santana enjoys salsa dancing, hiking and cycling.