Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari


Kim Saruwatari 

Riverside County Health Director
Department of Public Health





Kim Saruwatari has served as director of Riverside University Health System-Public Health for several years, overseeing a team of more than 1,000 dedicated staff members whose top priority is promoting and protecting the health of Riverside County residents and visitors.

Public Health is run by a team of doctors, nurses, health educators, nutritionists, communicable disease specialists, managers, fiscal and support staff. Although we are a large department, our goal is to treat each client and visitor as individuals, whether you are receiving information about nutrition education or learning about where to get an immunization.

A graduate of Cal State Berkeley (Go Bears!), Director Saruwatari spent decades serving the public through her work in Emergency Management and Public Health. She began her career in Public Health more than 20 years ago in San Diego County as a senior epidemiologist for Public Health, with an emphasis on communicable disease investigations and emergency preparedness. 

In Riverside County, Director Saruwatari was Chief of Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response for Public Health and was on several emergency preparedness committees for the California Department of Public Health. She left Public Health for several years to become the first director for the Emergency Management Department in Riverside County, before returning to take over Public Health.

Among her many accomplishments, Director Saruwatari led the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.