Dr. Eric McDonald

Dr.EricMcDonald

Dr. Eric C. McDonald is the Interim Agency Director of the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).  Following a distinguished 24-year career practicing emergency medicine in the U.S. Navy, Eric joined the county government in 2010 as a deputy public health officer. Driven by his passion for advancing health and well-being for all San Diegans, in 2015 he became the medical director of HHSA’s Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch. He was responsible for overseeing countywide efforts to prevent, monitor, and treat infectious disease. Eric also launched the Medical Care Services Department in 2021 as the Agency’s Chief Medical Officer in order to ensure San Diego County is home to America's premier local wellness delivery system. 

As Interim Agency Director, Eric oversees a $3.1 billion organization with nearly 8,000 employees who deliver essential services to make people’s lives healthier, safer, and self-sufficient. This includes:  

  • Enrollment in public benefits such as Medi-Cal, CalWORKS , CalFresh, and General Relief
  • Services that help older adults and people living with disabilities stay in their homes,
  • Mental health and substance use services
  • Family strengthening and child protection services
  • Affordable housing and rental assistance including Section 8    
  • Services to prevent and address homelessness such as outreach and shelters
  • Immunizations, infectious disease testing, preventative health services, and other public health services

Eric earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics and chemistry from Williams College and received his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  He completed residency programs in Emergency Medicine at Naval Medical Center, San Diego and in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. Eric’s 24 years of active duty in the United States Navy includes two tours in Iraq with Marine units from Camp Pendleton.  After retiring from the military, Eric earned his Master of Public Health degree from San Diego State University. He has lived in the Mission Hills neighborhood in San Diego with his husband, Brian, since 1998.