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About Austin Public Health

Everyday in every part of our community, public health protects Austin and Travis County residents from infectious diseases and environmental threats and educates us about the benefits of healthful behaviors in avoiding chronic diseases.

We offer: 

  • Services to help people meet needs across the lifespan, such as immunizations, shelter, food, clothing, and job assistance.
  • Screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.
  • Nutritional support through the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC).
  • Birth and death certificates.
  • Inspection and permitting of restaurants and food establishments.
  • Outreach and education on topics such as diabetes, tobacco cessation, mother-friendly workplaces, and injury prevention.
  • Emergency preparedness programs to help people in need during and after natural and man-made disasters.

Accreditation: Logo showing Accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board

In May 2016, our department earned national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). This milestone is official recognition that Austin Public Health meets or exceeds the rigorous public health standards established by the non-profit, non-governmental PHAB. Jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PHAB sets standards against which public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. Our department is the third public health department in the state to receive accreditation. To learn more about public health accreditation, visit the PHAB website.

Vision: 

Everyone will have an optimal quality of life, health and well-being.

Mission:

To prevent disease, promote health, and protect the well-being of all.

Core Purpose:

  • Prevent illness, injury, and disease;
  • Promote community-wide wellness, preparedness, resiliency, and self-sufficiency;
  • Protect the community from environmental and health hazards; and
  • Strengthen collaborations and build new partnerships to advance health in all policies.

Who We Are

Director Stephanie Y. Hayden-Howard

Stephanie Hayden-HowardStephanie Hayden-Howard was appointed Director of Austin Public Health in March 2018. She previously served as Interim Director since May 2017 and prior to that as Deputy Director since October of 2015.

As Deputy Director, she oversaw the operations of the Health Equity and Community Engagement Division, which included management of  Health Equity – Quality of Life Programs, HIV Planning Council, HIV Resources Administration, Planning and Evaluation and Social Services Policy.

Stephanie is a Licensed Master Level Social Worker who has spent more than twenty years providing services and managing programs in the field of social services.  She has worked in several direct social work settings including psychiatric services, school based, chemical dependency, crisis intervention, and counseling.

Stephanie has worked for the City of Austin since 2001. Prior to serving as Deputy Director, she served as Assistant Director over the Community Services Division, Family and Youth Services Manager, Social Services Supervisor and Program Supervisor at the South Austin Neighborhood Center. 

Before her City of Austin employment, she was employed by the Austin Independent School District as the Director of Clinical Services at the Alternative Learning Center and by the State of Texas at the Williamson County Mental Health Center as the Assistant Director. 

Stephanie holds a Bachelor in Social Work from Prairie A&M University and a Masters in Social Work from the Worden School of Social Services at Our Lady of the Lake University.  Stephanie is certified as a Youth Program Quality Assessor and Youth Work Management Training Consultant.  Under her leadership, youth programs have been recognized by the State of Texas for their “Excellence in Programming.”

Office phone:  512-972-5010

Interim Medical Director and Health Authority Mark Escott

Dr. Mark EscottDr. Escott has served as the Interim Medical Director and Health Authority for Austin Public Health since October 2019. Dr. Escott has served as the EMS System Medical Director for the City of Austin and Travis County since 2016. During this time he was also the Alternate Health Authority for Austin Public Health.

Dr. Escott received his medical degree from Flinders University School of Medicine in Adelaide, Australia. He also has a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Escott's medical training included an internship with the University of Adelaide in Australia and a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Pennsylvania State Health Milton Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Escott is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Subspeciality Board Certified in EMS.

Dr. Escott has published numerous articles, abstracts, papers, and presentations related to EMS, Disaster Management, and Public Health.

Prior to his position with the EMS System in Austin, Dr. Escott served as the Director of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine and EMS Fellowship Director for the Baylor College of Medicine, Health Authority for the Montgomery County Public Health District and Medical Director for the Montgomery County Hospital District EMS, Harris County ESD #48, and San Jacinto Community College-North.

Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette

Janet PichetteJanet Pichette serves as the Chief Epidemiologist and leads the Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness Division, which includes Epidemiology, Public Health Preparedness, BioWatch, and the Office of Vital Records. 

Janet received her B.S. degree in Health Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, an M.S. in Health Research focusing on epidemiology from Texas State University, and a Public Health Informatics Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Janet has 32 years of public health experience. Prior to joining the City of Austin, Janet worked as an epidemiologist for the State of Texas for 18 years including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Department of Health (TDH).  Her work focused on health studies and disease surveillance activities defining the epidemiology of occupational diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and other environmental health problems, toxicology and risk assessment, policy development, and strategic planning.

Assistant Director of Health Equity and Community Engagement Adrienne Sturrup

Adrienne SturrupAdrienne Sturrup was appointed Assistant Director over the Health Equity and Community Engagement Division in October 2018. She had served as Interim Assistant Director since May 2017.

The Health Equity and Community Engagement Division includes management of the Health Equity Quality of Life programs, HIV Planning Council, HIV Resources Administration, Planning and Evaluation, and Social Services Policy.

Adrienne joined Austin Public Health in 2014 as Program Manager for the Health Equity Unit, formerly the African American Quality of Life Unit (AAQL). Her efforts have contributed to the Department's strategic priority of Health Equity programming.

Adrienne assisted with the development of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Materials (CLAMS) policy and e-learning series, and currently is co-lead for the Health Equity Action Team. Adrienne also represents the department on the City's Equity Action Team. Led by the City's Equity Officer, the team works with City staff and community members to develop an Equity Assessment Tool for future use by all City departments.

Adrienne has more than 25 years experience in non-profit organizations working to promote health and wellness in community settings. She began her professional career with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, initially as the Truancy Prevention Program Coordinator, and then became Teen Director in charge of all youth development activities for the Roxbury Clubhouse. Then, as the first Youth Development Director for the YMCA of Boston, she modeled the implementation of Youth and Teen programs in more than 16 YMCAs across Greater Boston. She served as the Executive DIrector in the YMCA system for 11 years, leading branches in Rhode Island and Austin.

Adrienne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a concentration in non-profit marketing from Boston University.

Assistant Director, Administrative Support Services Kymberley Maddox

Kymberley MaddoxKymberley Maddox serves as the Assistant Director for Administrative Support Services since October 2015. She formerly was Chief Administrative Officer.

She is responsible for support services in the areas of Contract Management, Records Management, Information Systems, Human Resources, Budget and Analysis, and Accounting,

Prior to joining Austin Public Health in November 2010, Kymberley spent 15 years providing public sector leadership and management for a variety of State of Texas agencies including the Texas Comptroller, Texas Legislative Budget Board, and Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Texas Tech University.

Assistant Director, Community Services Donna Sundstrom

Donna SundstromDonna Sundstrom has served as the Assistant Director for the Community Services Division since September 2016.  She is responsible for the department's community service programs.

These programs include Austin Youth Development, Austin Healthy Adolescent Program, Community Youth Development, Day Labor, Early Childhood, Healthy Texas Babies, Neighborhood Services, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Donna has spent the last 23 years of her professional career focusing on maternal and child health.  Prior to her current position, Donna served as the Manager (Director) for the department’s WIC Program for 11 years.   She was active in the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors, serving on the Board for over 11 years, and the National WIC Association.  In 2015, she received the Art Fuston Award from the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors.  Before her tenure with the City of Austin, she was with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the City of San Marcos. Donna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Scientific Nutrition from Texas A&M University.

Assistant Director, Environmental Health Services Division Don Hastings 

Don HastingsDon Hastings was appointed Assistant Director of the Environmental Health Services Division in April of 2017.

Mr.  Hastings manages the department's Environmental Health Services Programs: Community & Consumer Protection, Environmental Health Customer Services, Court Compliance, Pollution Control, Smoking in Public Places, Rodent/Vector Control, Training and Certification, Building Plan Review and One-Time Inspections (CO).

Mr. Hastings has been with Austin Public Health since January of 2016 as Chief Administrative Officer. Previously, he served as City Manager and Deputy City Manager of Midlothian, Texas; Assistant Planning Director of Arlington, Texas; Planning Director of Bloomington, Indiana; and Administration Manager for the City of Houston, Texas. 

In addition to his past experience overseeing environmental health programs, Don has extensive experience in the administration of:  public safety and inspections programs; City Council and board/commission support; interlocal agreements; State regulation enforcement and legislative review; stakeholder relationships; organizational re-design; applied technology solutions; media relations; and customer service initiatives. 

Mr. Hastrings holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences. 

Public Information and Marketing Manager Jen Samp

Jen Samp has been the Public Information and Marketing Manager for Austin Public Health since April 2019.