DECATUR, Ga. – Sandra Valenciano, M.D., M.P.H., has been appointed as the new District Health Director for the DeKalb County Board of Health, effective July 1.
While she has been in her new role for just shy of two months, Valenciano is not new to the agency, which oversees public health services for over 750,000 residents in DeKalb County, where more than 130 languages are spoken. Before willingly stepping into the role as Interim District Health Director in April, she served as the Board of Health’s Medical Director for the Division of Community Health and Prevention Services, beginning in July 2020. Since that time, she has led on the COVID-19 response overseeing all Board of Health testing and COVID-19 vaccination efforts, in addition to, standardizing several COVID-19 operating procedures.
Valenciano received her bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Brown University, her Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Global Maternal and Child Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Doctor of Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine. A board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, she completed her medical training in the Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program and completed the Emory Preventive Medicine Residency Program. She is board eligible in Preventive Medicine.
After completing her medical training, Valenciano served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer in the Respiratory Diseases Branch within the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she led domestic outbreak responses, evaluated national infectious disease surveillance systems, analyzed global immunization data, and collaborated with both domestic and international partners. As an Emory Preventive Medicine resident, she provided clinical care at Emory Healthcare and the Atlanta Veterans Administration, completed additional public health work at CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health, ultimately being assigned to the Board of Health in April 2020 to assist with the COVID-19 response.
Valenciano is passionate about public health, health disparities, and advocating for underserved populations. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and oversees Emory Preventive Medicine residents during their rotations at the Board of Health. She is a resident of DeKalb County and has a child in preschool. She enjoys learning languages, watching foreign films, and exploring outdoor activities in Georgia.
For more information about the DeKalb County Board of Health’s programs and services, visit dekalbhealth.net or call 404-294-3700.