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Aging Action Initiative AAI Welcomes New Health & Human Services Director

AAI is excited to welcome Benita McLarin to Marin! Benita joined Marin County as Director of Health and Human Services in September 2019.  She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for the public hospital of Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California for over five years.  Her other recent professional experiences include serving as the Vice President for Ambulatory Health Care Services for Alameda Health System and in senior positions for Sonoma County Department of Health Services and Solano County Health and Social Services Department.

Benita received her Master of Science degree in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University School of Public Health, her Master of Health Administration degree from Chapman University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Benita is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Benita grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and entered the U.S. Army while in high school, completing basic training between her junior and senior years.  She served over 20 years on active duty as a Medical Service Corps officer with several deployments abroad, including being an ambulance company commander during the Gulf War. She retired from the Army in 2006 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Earlier this month, Benita met with the AAI Advocacy Alliance. She expressed that in her short time working in Marin, she has become aware of the disparities that exist among older adults who are lower income, people of color and/or geographically isolated.  Benita stated that she hopes to be part of this important work and to give it all the support she can. 

“Work pertaining to aging resonates deeply with me both professionally and personally for many reasons, including that I share my home with my dear mother and serve as her primary caregiver,” Benita said.

In her role as Director and as a new resident of Marin County, Benita is excited about the Age-Friendly County of Marin Action Plan, which will be presented for approval to the Marin Board of Supervisors in early 2020. 

“I’m very excited about this new plan and about the positive impact it will have on all residents of Marin County in the years to come”.