New County Health Director Hired

Written by Estero Bay News

March 25, 2023

Newly named County Health Agency Director Nicholas Drews. 

County Supervisors have hired a new permanent Health Agency Director, elevating the interim director to the full time position.

On Feb. 28, Supervisors were asked to approve naming Nicholas Drews to serve as the County’s health agency director. Drews had been acting as the interim director since June 2022, according to a report from County Administrative Officer, Wade Horton.

“Prior to his interim role,” Horton said, “Mr. Drews worked in the Health Agency for over seven years, both as a program manager and as the deputy health agency director. He played a significant leadership role in the County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as the Emergency Operations Center logistics section chief.”

Horton added that Drews was “experienced in leading project teams, executing on organizational and talent strategies, and delivering change management initiatives based on his previous management roles with Deloitte Consulting.”

Drews earned a Masters of Business Administration Degree (MBA) from USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in philosophy and political science from U.C. Santa Cruz.

The health agency director job pays from $197,000 to $251,000 a year and Drews will start at the low end of the scale — making $197,000 a year plus benefits.

The Health Agency has several departments including the Public Guardian; Behavioral Health; Administration; Public Health and Animal Services.

There are several programs and divisions under these main departments in the Health Agency’s hierarchy. Among them are the Department of Drug & Alcohol Services, the Public Health Lab, Emergency Medical Services, and Adult and Youth Mental Health Services, among several others.

According to the County’s website, the Health Agency is the largest department in SLO County with more than 800 employees and an annual operating budget of some $150 million.

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