San Rafael, CA – Benita McLarin, a Bay Area-based health care executive with more than a decade of experience as a public agency administrator, is the County of Marin’s choice to lead its Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
County Administrator Matthew Hymel made the announcement of McLarin’s appointment and her first day on the job as September 9. Hyacinth Hinojosa, Chief Operations Officer for HHS, has served as interim director since February 2019.
“What attracted me to Marin was the County’s interest in equity work and the Strategic Plan to Achieve Health and Wellness Equity,” McLarin said. “I have spent my entire career as a proponent for bringing equity into all services. I’m excited to continue that work and look forward to serving the people of Marin.”
Most recently, McLarin was Chief Operating Officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospitals and Clinics). During her five-year tenure, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center grew to become one of the largest public hospital systems in the state. McLarin supported the planning and coordination for the acquisition and integration of two community hospitals to join the health system, led the team in opening a new 168-bed hospital tower, initiated a successful, multiyear strategic planning effort for the nationally recognized Rehabilitation Center, and spearheaded the development and use of a highly regarded staff-to-patient communication tool, among other accomplishments.
Prior to her position with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, McLarin served as Vice President of the Ambulatory Healthcare Services for the Alameda Health System, served in leadership positions at the health departments of both Sonoma and Solano counties, and was a Medical Service Corps Officer (Health Administrator) and combat veteran for the United States Army.
“Benita is an extraordinary health care professional with a strong focus on equity and a compassionate approach to the needs of individuals and communities,” said Kate Sears, Marin County Board of Supervisors President. “Her collaborative style and focus on staff and community will serve us well. Benita is a great fit for HHS and Marin County, and I’m excited about her joining the County management team.”
McLarin’s record of community involvement includes volunteer and board member roles with the iMentor program, a Bay Area-based organization that connects underprivileged high school students with adult mentors. In addition, she serves as lead organizer and coordinator of her church’s community support program, providing support groups and trainings to the greater Hayward community for everyday issues including diabetes prevention, grief support, CPR, and American Sign Language.
“Benita’s commitment to serving the community, support of health and wellness equity, record of successfully effecting meaningful change, and robust history of staff and leader development were among the key factors that stood out in the selection process,” Hinojosa said.
McLarin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, a Master of Health Administration degree from Chapman University in Orange, California, and a Master of Science degree in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University’s School of Public Health in Boston. She is board certified in Healthcare Management with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Her annual salary will be $254,675 and benefits will be consistent with those received by other department heads.