Manuel Carmona, Pasadena’s deputy director of public health, has been named acting director of public health while Dr. Ying-Ying Goh takes a year off for a prestigious fellowship in Washington, D.C.,
Acting City Manager Cynthia Kurtz made the announcement via press release on Monday, July 18.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Acting Director of Public Health and lead such a committed and talented public health team. I am confident in our ability to continue our work to preserve and protect public health in the Pasadena community,” Carmona said in the statement.
Goh, a board-certified pediatrician who has been the health officer for the Pasadena Public Health Department since 2015 — a role that included leading the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic — will take a leave of absence from her position after being selected as one of six participants in the 2022-23 Class of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Scholars at the National Academy of Medicine.
Goh leaves on August 22 but will return after completing his one-year fellowship.
The city statement describes Carmona as a native of the San Gabriel Valley who lives in Altadena with his wife and two children. He is a sports enthusiast who loves camping, hiking and fishing. he joined the city’s health department in 2014 as a management analyst, where he oversaw the administrative and financial division. He hopes to complete a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington this fall. Previously, he earned a Masters in Public Administration from USC and a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis.
Carmona has served in the deputy position since January 2020, where he led the operations of non-clinical departments and provided administrative and fiscal leadership in support of the city’s ongoing COVID-19 strategy.
Carmona has developed and maintained community programs focused on violence prevention, health equity, and maternal, adolescent, and child health. Carmona also led other special initiatives for the city, including strategic planning and reaccreditation. He also served as co-chair of the Pasadena Elderly and Dependent Adult Liaisons (PEDAL) committee.
Alumnus of the Health Equity Awakened and Leadership Pasadena programs, Carmona serves on the board of directors for Leadership Pasadena and the Central Altadena Little League organization.
As chief health officer of Pasadena Public Health, Goh guided the city’s response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, one of the region’s few independent public health departments. Locally, only Pasadena, Long Beach, and Los Angeles County operate their own departments.
Goh is known for overseeing a small but nimble department that consistently pushes its weight on what has always been a small budget with relatively few resources compared to the much larger county public health team.
Often, the department’s actions ran counter to the broader county-level direction dictated by Pasadena’s own COVID-19 patterns. For example, the department left open-air restaurants open when other jurisdictions did not, and gathered more complete and accurate data sets faster than other agencies with more resources.
Under his leadership, the city compiled high vaccination rates. Currently, 99.9% of Pasadena residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 93.3% have received two doses.
The fellowship Goh was selected for is one of the nation’s most prestigious learning experiences in health, science and politics in Washington, DC, city leaders said.
“Since 1973, this nonpartisan fellowship has provided exclusive, hands-on political experience with the most influential congressional and executive branch offices,” a press release read. “Over the years, more than 300 Fellows from across the country have worked hand-in-hand with the best and brightest in federal health policy to gain an insider’s perspective of the political process, develop unparalleled leadership skills and create a professional network that lasts a lifetime.”