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Putnam County Health Officer - Mary Garcia

Florida Department of Health in Putnam County

Mary L. Garcia

Ms. Garcia has been the Administrator of the Department of Health in Putnam County since 2013. "It is a great opportunity to blend two very diverse backgrounds: science and business."

Ms. Garcia began her public health career as the director for finance and accounting at DOH St. Johns in 2007. She joined DOH Volusia in December 2008 as the director of finance and accounting, and was promoted to financial administrator in 2009. Previously, Garcia was the business operations manager (Southeast and Government sectors) for the Fujitsu Technology Solutions out of Sunnyvale, California, and the fiscal and administrative manager for the Emory University Chemistry Department in Atlanta. Before moving into administration, Ms. Garcia was a researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory. She developed a maintained a hybridoma tissue culture program for Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and infectious disease research projects. She directed and trained graduate and undergraduate researchers.

Ms. Garcia is an active member of National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and helped in the development of the Management Essential Series for health officers. She serves as secretary for the Florida Association of County Health Officers (FACHO) Program Council; serves on the DOH Health Equity Program Council, the DOH Communicable Disease Program Council, and the Immunization Workgroup; and is the chair of the Data Integration Workgroup. She is a member of the DOH Title X Needs Assessment Advisory Committee, the Florida Special Needs Shelter Interagency Committee; and the Florida Cancer Control Collaborative. She is board member of the St. Johns River Rural Health Network and the North Central Health Care Coalition.

Ms. Garcia was appointed by the County Commission to serve on the Putnam County Waterways and Trails Council. She serves on the board of Ride Solutions, Inc. (Transportation for the disadvantaged); and is on the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute Community Advisory Board, the St. Johns River State College Adult Education Advisory Board; and the Putnam County Local Mitigation Strategy Task Force (LMS) and the Emergency Management Advisory Group.

A native of Florida and Putnam County, Ms. Garcia is involved in the community by volunteering for both the Putnam and South Putnam Christian Service Centers, the Putnam Homeless Coalition, St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Create Art League, Keep Putnam Beautiful. She is a board member of the Palatka Rotary Club and a founding board member of the Putnam First Cancer Fund (PFCF) whose mission is to help fill the void in cancer patients’ needs by providing financial assistance for basic living expenses and diagnostic testing to confirm an official diagnosis of cancer.

Ms. Garcia received a distinguished citizen award from the City of Palatka for her leadership in the first Annual County-wide Clean up with netted over 9 thousand pounds of trash and tires. She was recognized for a Palatka Daily News Volunteer Spotlight by Keep Putnam Beautiful for her work with Palatka Pride whose mission is to increase physical activity and to contribute to a healthier litter-free environment for Putnam County. She was recognized by Governor Scott with a Disaster Response medal on behalf of DOH-Putnam for all the team’s hard work during Hurricane Matthew.