Executive Director for Harris County Public Health (HCPH), Harris County, Texas
In March 2021, Barbie Robinson was appointed Executive Director for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) – the nationally accredited county public health agency for the nation’s third-largest county serving a population of approximately five million people. She comes to Harris County with a vision of HCPH as the Community Health Strategist for leading and enabling cross-sector partnerships that connect safety net services in an integrated way to ensure interventions, services, and programs address the social determinants of health holistically. In Harris County, she currently serves as the At-Large Representative on the Steering Committee of The Way Home Continuum of Care, the lead agency to prevent and end homelessness in the Greater Houston Area.
Prior to her appointment, she served as Director of Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) for five years while concurrently serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission in California for the past year. Robinson’s leadership was instrumental in forming Sonoma County’s ACCESS Initiative, a nationally and internationally-awarded integrated care coordination model that helps underserved and vulnerable individuals achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. This model is being replicated across the Country. She led the County’s COVID-19 pandemic response and oversaw the public health responses during the wildfires of 2017, 2019, and 2020 and the response to the County’s largest homeless encampment in 2020.
Robinson has over 27 years of experience in health care administration, policy, and research. Before Sonoma County, she worked at the Federal level at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 15 years overseeing the administration of Federal healthcare programs, including Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Medicare Fee-for-Service program, and the Affordable Care Act. She held numerous leadership positions at CMS, including Associate Regional Administrator (ARA) of the San Francisco and Atlanta Regional Offices Division of Financial Management & Fee-for-Service Operations; her leadership earned her the Administrator’s Achievement Award in 2014. Robinson has been recognized for leading collaborative efforts to address health disparities, health improvement, and health equity throughout her career.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts with a triple major (Political Science, Spanish, and International Sociology) from Middlebury College, her Master of Public Policy, Health and Social Policy from Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, and her Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School. She was admitted to the California Bar in 2000.