County Executive Page Names Dr. Faisal Khan to Lead Health Department

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (February 17, 2021) St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page is bolstering the Department of Public Health’s leadership team by appointing a familiar face as its permanent director.

Dr. Faisal Khan, 48, a former DPH director, has agreed to return to lead the department. Dr. Khan is a medical epidemiologist with a long and distinguished record in public health program management.

“We are excited that Dr. Khan has agreed to come back to St. Louis County and bring his expertise and experience during this public health crisis,” said Dr. Page. “The Department of Public Health under the leadership of Spring Schmdt and Dr. Doucette has done a remarkable job and Spring and Emily’s continued oversight of the COVID-19 response is critical and appreciated.”

For more than two years, Schmidt and Dr. Doucette have served as acting co-directors of the Department of Public Health, Over the last year, they created a new infrastructure to battle COVID-19 on multiple fronts, working closely with Dr. Page.

Schmidt will remain as DPH deputy director and retains responsibility for much of the operational demands of the department as well as charting new paths forward in the opioid crisis. Schmidt built many of the programs that made DPH a national leader in the opioid fight, and she has become a statewide public health leader who led innovations in DPH's health and racial equity work. She will remain our Incident Commander for Public Health in the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

Dr. Doucette remains DPH chief medical officer after leading the transformation of the department’s primary care services to a family medicine model, providing wraparound behavioral health services for 35,000 of our most underserved residents every year. Dr. Doucette is looking forward to further building DPH’s clinics into look-alike models of the Federally Qualified Health Centers to provide even better long-term care and stability to these critical services.

The hiring of Dr. Khan will allow DPH leadership to deepen its focus on the longstanding health challenges that have been exacerbated by this pandemic, including mental health and substance abuse, particularly opioids.

“I am happy to rejoin an already strong department as we continue the battle against COVID-19,” Dr. Khan said.

“Dr. Khan joins the Health Department at a critical juncture, as the county brings to bear all possible resources to control the pandemic while administering COVID-19 vaccine to residents,” said Dr. Page.

Dr. Khan is leaving his position as the Chief Executive Officer of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, a federal facility in Kansas City, Mo., to take leadership at the DPH.

Dr. Khan had previously served with DPH from 2010 to 2018, first as director of communicable disease control services and later as the department director.

He has 22 years of experience in the public health field, including with departments in West Virginia and Massachusetts, and in the countries of Pakistan, Vietnam, Australia. Zimbabwe, Botswana and others. His experience includes serving as the lead epidemiologist of the External Peer Review Program for the Veterans Health Administration, as a director of state HIV/AIDS & STD programs, and designer of research studies focused on clinical quality improvement, disease surveillance, disease prevention and program evaluation.