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Will Metro Health’s pandemic leadership turnover end with Claude Jacob?

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Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
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Newly installed Metro Health Director Claude Jacob speaks to the press on Thursday morning. Jacob was selected by San Antonio City Manager in April but began with the City of San Antonio on July 6.

San Antonio’s health department experienced multiple leadership changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently gained Claude Jacob as its newest director last July.

Jacob has over 20 years of experience in public health and previously led operations at the Cambridge Public Health Department since 2007.

The director of Metro Health oversees more than 30 programs in the Communicable Disease, Community Health & Safety, and Environmental Health & Operations divisions.

At the start of the pandemic’s third year and in the thick of the omicron surge, COVID response remains a top priority for San Antonio public health. Other priorities include diabetes, STD/HIV and violence prevention, and community nutrition.

What are the biggest pandemic-related obstacles in San Antonio, and how is Jacob working to overcome them? Is his approach to COVID response different from those of his predecessors?

What are his goals for improving the department, and how does he plan to accomplish them? Will Jacob’s leadership make a measurable positive impact on public health in San Antonio?

Guest: Claude A. Jacob, director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, February 15.

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