Pasadena Public Health Dept. Director Will Explore What It Means to Be a "Health Strategy Catalyst"

Published : Monday, October 21, 2019 | 4:36 AM

The City of Pasadena’s Public Health Department Director and Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh will speak to the Pasadena Rotary Club in an open-to-the-public meeting Wednesday, Oct. 23 about the Dept.’s role as a “health strategy catalyst.”

Goh had used that term when she first spoke to the community after her appointment in April of this year.

“What that means is that we want to provide the backbone support for collective impact in our community to achieve specific health priorities,” said Goh earlier.

By way of example, she has highlighted a new initiative called All Children Thrive which the department is conducting in partnership with early childcare providers, other service providers, and libraries to look at how to ensure that more children, especially those at risk from zero-to-five, are kindergarten-ready.

Goh is sensitive to the fact people might wonder if the Health Department isn’t reaching stepping out of its lane.

“What we have come to realize over the decades is that, in fact, the social determinants of health, these social issues are the things that, in addition to our central public health services, we have to work on,” explained Goh.

And the Health Department can’t work on them alone, she added.

“So we’re trying to establish this role of how do we catalyze our community,” said Goh, “catalyze all the resources we have with the information and data we have about our health status and work together to maximize our resources and really make a measurable impact on these health and social metrics.”

Goh has served in various roles at the Pasadena Health Department, including Health Officer and Deputy Director, and Medical Director for Programs and Research, securing grant funding and managing programs addressing chronic disease, including improving health outcomes for seniors with diabetes and also childhood obesity prevention.

Her professional experience includes clinical pediatric practice, management of a California Endowment task force to improve healthcare access and quality in Los Angeles County, and community-based participatory research to improve nutrition and physical activity for youth.

Goh earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy at Stanford University, a Doctor of Medicine Degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Master of Health Services Research Degree from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

She completed pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard University and Boston Medical Center/Boston University.

The meeting is open to the public, and no RSVP is required. It will be held 12 noon at the University Club of Pasadena at 175 N. Oakland Avenue.

Buffet lunch is $33, which includes complimentary valet parking.

For more information, email

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