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Public Health Services

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To promote, preserve and protect the health of all San Luis Obispo County residents through disease surveillance, health education, direct services, and health policy development.

Penny Borenstein, M.D., M.P.H.
County Health Officer
(805) 781-5500

To report a public health emergency or urgent communicable disease condition after normal business hours, call 805-781-4553. 



Sunday, October 5, 2014 - 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.




  • 9/29/14: Free flu shots provided during mass vaccination drill on Sunday, October 5, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Click here to find out locations and more informationClick here to read the 9-29-14 Media Advisory.

  • 9/29/14: Provider Alert: Influenza Testing and Reporting Recommendations for 2014-2015. September 29, 2014 marks the official start of the Influenza season and this Provider Alert provides a summary of the diagnostic and testing recommendations from the California Department of Public Health. Click here to read the Provider Alert.

  • 9/17/14: Horse tests positive for West Nile Virus in San Luis Obipso County - Public Health Media Release. A horse in Northern San Luis Obispo County has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first horse to test positive for WNV in San Luis Obispo County in 2014. There have been no human cases reported, and no birds have tested positive for WNV in San Luis Obispo County this year, despite the proportion of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV throughout the State being at its highest level ever detected. Click here to read the entire Media Release.

  • 8/25/14: Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of All Healthcare Workers in San Luis Obispo County (a letter to healthcare workers from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer, Penny Borenstein, MD, MPH): "Influenza season will begin in the fall. In your roles as leaders in healthcare, and mine as the County Health Officer, I know we share a common goal: to minimize the spread of communicable diseases like influenza, provide outstanding healthcare for our citizens, and keep our healthcare worker population healthy." Click here to read the entire letter.

  • 8/4/14: Evaluation of US Patients with suspected infection with Ebola Virus The World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have issued alerts in the past week regarding Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). To read more, please see the 8-4-14 San Luis Obispo County Provider Alert.  Click here for the latest Ebola outbreak information from the CDC.

  • 6/27/2014: A pertussis epidemic has just been declared in California--The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is urging prenatal care providers to immunize all pregnant women between 27 and 36 weeks gestation with Tdap during each pregnancy, regardless of the number of prior doses of Tdap previously received. To learn more about this issue please see the letter from Dr. Ron Chapman at CDPH.

  • 3/4/14:  Alarming news- SLO County ranks highest in the state in the sale of e-cigarettes! Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community is a statewide campaign to educate consumers about the availability and promotion of tobacco, alcohol and food products in community stores. Visit www.HealthyStoresHealthyCommunity.com for more information including state, regional and county specific data.

  • 12/9/13: AB 2109: New Law Requires Provider Counseling before Exemptions from School Shots


Influenza (flu) and the current flu season
Notice of Privacy Practices  (en Español)
Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program
Public Health Forms
Public Health Department Org Chart



Environmental Health Services Division prevents exposure to toxic substances, diseases, unsanitary conditions, and other environmental hazards through education and enforcement. Programs include hazardous materials management, food safety, water quality, recreational water and swimming pool monitoring, and solid waste facility oversight.


The Family Health Services Division provides preventive health clinical services such as family planning,  Immunizations , tuberculosis and sexually-transmitted disease control, Epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control and Prevention , Maternal Child Health Programs Field Nursing Programs , California Children's Services , Child Health and Disability Prevention Program , Medical Therapy Program , Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program , Foster Care Program and outreach programs.
Go to Family Health Services Webpage.


The Emergency Medical Services Division coordinates and supports emergency medical services (EMS) throughout the county. The Emergency Medical Services Agency  develops countywide policies and protocols for prehospital patient care and operations and performs evaluation and oversight of local emergency transport providers and designated specialty care systems. The Agency certifies Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), accredits local Paramedics, and authorizes local Mobile Intensive Care Nurses (MICNs). 

Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program mission is to protect the public and ensure that the local first responders and health care system are prepared to respond to public health emergencies in an effective and coordinated manner.


The Health Care Services Division oversees the County-funded health care delivery systems including the Medically Indigent Services Program and the Law Enforcement Medical Care Program.  

Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) assists qualified low-income adult residents of the county who have no other means to pay for necessary medical care. 
The Law Enforcement Medical Care (LEMC) Program provides medical care for juvenile wards while they are residing in the Juvenile Services Center and medical care for adults incarcerated in the County Jail.


The Health Promotion Division works within the community to promote healthy behaviors. Along with a focus on individual change in behavior, we encourage the adoption of community wide improvements that benefit public health. Our programs include:

Tobacco Control Program - Offers free cessation classes and free nicotine replacement therapies to the community. We also work with local jurisdictions on policies to restrict the use of tobacco.

Obesity Prevention Program - Works with community partners in the HEAL-SLO collaborative to reduce the rate of childhood obesity. We also offer workshops on certain nutrition topics.

Women Infants and Children (WIC) - Is a national program which offers nutrition education and food vouchers to low-income women and their children - from pregnancy to the age of 5.

Oral Health Program - Offers preventative oral care to the residents, with a focus on children 0-5 years of age.

Injury Prevention Program - The injury prevention program works to ensure Child Passenger, Bicycle and Pedestrian safety through car seat checks, classes and safety events.

Other programs may be offered, based on funding availability.
Go to the Health Promotion Webpage 


Provides high quality and timely testing services for communicable disease diagnosis, water quality and animal diseases including Rabies. Go to the Public Health Laboratory Webpage 


The Health Commission was formed in 1994 to serve as an advisory board to the County Board of Supervisors and the County Public Health Agency on matters of health care in the County. The Commission meets monthly in a public venue and is a cooperative effort among consumers, and indirect and direct providers of health care services. The Commission consists of 11 volunteer appointees who are residents of San Luis Obispo County, of which 6 are consumer representatives, 3 are direct providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and dentists), and 2 are indirect providers (e.g., medical office managers and hospital administrators). Go to the San Luis Obispo Health Commission