After eight years leading the Monterey County Health Department, Stallworth announced his retirement Monday. Deputy Health Officer Lisa Hernandez will take over as interim, then plans to apply to be the next county health officer, which Stallworth says leaves the department—and the public—in good hands.
"I’ve been mentoring her," he says. "She has been in the trenches with me. She’s no novice; she’s going to hit the ground running."
One of Stallworth's proudest accomplishments is handling the H1N1 flu outbreak without panic. "We resisted the fear and used science to drive what we needed to do. In Monterey County, we didn’t close one school, yet didn’t suffer any disproportionate illness or death," he says.
He's also proud of improving stakeholder relationships, particularly with the media. "The media is critical in getting information out to the public," he says. "The media has helped me inform, not alarm."