Pino resigns as director of the state health department in Orange County
Dr. Raul Pino, who biecame a trusted info source for Orange County during the COVID pandemic but was put on leave during a state investigation in an email he sent, has accepted a position as director of the county's Health Services.
Dr. Raul Pino resigned as the medical director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County on Monday and accepted a position as director of the county's Health Services.
Pino will oversee strategic, operational and fiscal responsibilities of the department. His appointment by county Mayor Jerry Demings is set to start May 2 after approval by the County Commission.
“Dr. Pino is a revered public health expert in Orange County,” Demings said in a news release. “He has an exceptional reputation amongst our citizens, as well as the professional medical community in Central Florida.”
The plastic surgeon had led the county through the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside Demings, even receiving a special recognition from the county for his service.
However, he was put on paid administrative leave by the Department of Health in January while the state investigated an email Pino sent encouraging his staff to get the COVID vaccine, which would be a violation of department policy.
He returned to his post March 15, but was placed on a six-month corrective action plan that included cultural sensitivity training.
"Pino has a rich history in working with our Health Services Department to meet the needs of our community," Demings said. "During these most recent years, Dr. Pino's leadership has been instrumental in the success of our public health initiatives, including our response to the COVID-19 pandemic."
Pino will replace Yolanda Martinez, who resigned.