AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, who has overseen much of the COVID-19 emergency response in the area alongside Austin Public Health, will be transitioning to a new role with the City of Austin.
According to a letter from Escott addressed to Austin and Travis County leaders, he says with COVID-19 cases improving locally, now is the opportune time to step into his new position as Chief Medical Officer for the city.
“In this role, I am excited to provide strategic alignment and oversight of the clinical services within the City of Austin while expanding upon the many healthcare partnerships that have been strengthened during the pandemic,” the letter reads. “I look forward to continuing to work with you and the new Health Authority to bridge the gaps in the availability of affordable healthcare and ensure that we address the deep disparities that persist in the impact of disease and injury in our community.”
Escott began serving as Interim Health Authority in October 2019, a position he took on in addition to already being EMS system medical director for Austin and Travis County.
KXAN previously reported in September 2020 that Escott told Travis County commissioners he was not being compensated for his expanded duties during the pandemic, and that he said he was working 60 to 80 hours a week.
Escott said in his letter he has been involved in recruiting the next Health Authority and is confident they will bring a “wealth of knowledge and experience to this community.”
He isn’t the only APH leader that will be moving to a new role. APH Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard will step into her new position as Assistant City Manager for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning alongside City Manager Spencer Cronk on May 10.
More information will be given out about the leadership change in an APH media briefing scheduled for Friday morning.