Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Gay man in line to head Marin health agency

Dr. Grant Colfax (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Dr. Grant Colfax (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

A gay doctor and longtime HIV prevention leader is set to become the next head of Marin County’s main health agency.

At its Tuesday, April 7 meeting the Marin County Board of Supervisors is expected to confirm Sausalito resident Dr. Grant Colfax, 50, as the leader of the county’s sprawling Health and Human Services Department.

Colfax will succeed Marin health chief Larry Meredith in the $215,342-a-year position starting Monday, May 4. The Marin Independent Journal reported on the expected hiring of Colfax, who had served as head of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, this morning (Thursday, April 2).

“Dr. Colfax joins our county after 18 years of public health service at the local and federal level,” County Administrator Matthew Hymel told the paper.

Prior to being tapped by President Barack Obama for the federal AIDS czar position, Colfax had been the director of San Francisco’s HIV Prevention Section from 2007 through 2012. He championed moving the city’s efforts to stop the spread of HIV toward a “test and treat” approach, considered controversial at the time, where funding would be directed to testing for HIV and encouraging those who were positive to immediately seek treatment.

After leaving his White House job, Colfax was hired in 2014 by the nonprofit PATH, short for Programs for Appropriate Technology in Health, to lead its HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis efforts in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia.

According to the Marin paper, Colfax said working for Obama “was a privilege” but he wanted to return to his roots in the Bay Area. He grew up and was homeschooled at a Mendocino County goat farm.

“Working at the local level has always been my passion,” Colfax, whose partner is a San Francisco urologist, was quoted as saying. “It’s very exciting to be able to work for the county,” he added. “I see it as a great opportunity to work with a fantastic team.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 2, 2015 @ 4:15 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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