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Orange County Commission approves Dr. Raul Pino as director of Health Services Department


The Orange County Commission on Tuesday approved the appointment of Dr. Raul Pino as director of the county Health Services Department.

Pino was the state's chief health officer for Orange County for three years. He was placed on leave by the Department of Health in January and investigated after he sent an email to staff encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations.

He returned to his state post in March under a six-month corrective action plan.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings supported Pino, praising him as "our trusted partner and friend" during the pandemic.

He begins his county job next Monday and will oversee Corrections Health Services, the drug-free office, the medical clinic, Animal Services and mosquito control.

Pino's starting salary is $172,016.

Pino replaces Yolanda Martinez, who resigned last month effective April 1.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.