Napa County’s Dr. Karen Relucio is Woman of the Year

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

NAPA – Napa County’s public health officer, Dr. Karen Relucio, who led the community response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing critical direction to limit infections and save lives, has been named Woman of the Year by Sen. Bill Dodd.

“Karen has been instrumental in guiding the people of Napa County through this unprecedented public health crisis,” Sen. Dodd said. “She rose to the challenge of keeping us safe and more recently, to vaccinate the public. A year later, as the pandemic wanes and our state begins to reopen, we owe her a debt of gratitude for her unswerving devotion to public health.”

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award for the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Relucio. “Our successful response would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many unnamed women in Napa County, from our agency and emergency operations center leadership to the line staff and volunteers who have supported our operations for vaccinations, testing, case investigation, contact tracing and wrap-around services for our clients.”

Dr. Relucio has been public health officer and deputy director at the Napa County Health and Human Services Agency since 2015. Among other things, she and her department coordinate testing, perform case and outbreak investigations and contact tracing, analyze and publish COVID-19 data, provide supportive housing, plan for medical surge and mass vaccinations, and field questions on how to safely reopen.

Before coming to Napa County, she was medical director of public health clinics, assistant health officer and chief of infectious diseases for the San Mateo County Health System from 2006 to 2015 and a clinical instructor at Stanford University Medical Center from 2003 to 2006.

Dr. Relucio is president of California Conference of Local Health Officers and Health Officers Association of California and is an active member of the County Health Executives Association of California and Napa/Solano County Medical Society. In 2019, she was appointed to the state’s Commission on Emergency Medical Services by Gov. Jerry Brown. Dr. Relucio lives in Napa with her husband.


Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at