County Pulse

Public can meet Stanislaus County’s new CEO

kcarlson@modbee.comDecember 12, 2013 

    alternate textKen Carlson
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: County government, health and medicine, air quality, the environment and public pension systems
    Bio: Ken Carlson has worked 13 years for The Bee, covering local government agencies in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. His in-depth reporting has focused on access to health care and public employee pensions.
    Recent stories written by Ken

A public reception will be held Tuesday for Stan Risen, the newly appointed chief executive officer for Stanislaus County.

People can meet the CEO from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Kirk Lindsey Center, 1020 10th St., Suite 102, in downtown Modesto.

Last month, Risen took over as chief executive officer for a county with a $1.1 billion budget and almost 4,000 employees. He first was hired by the county as an appraiser in 1987, has overseen county departments and was in charge of all aspects of the annual budget as an assistant executive officer.

Risen will manage county government as it takes on jail expansions and critical issues such as groundwater.

Health rankings

California ranked 21st among the 50 states in terms of the overall health of its population, according to the America’s Health Rankings report released this week. The study was a joint effort of the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention.

The Golden State scored high for its lower-than-average number of smokers (12.6 percent of adults), safer workplaces and residents with active lifestyles. Its cancer death rate, 172 per 100,000 residents, was the sixth best in the nation. The state also was ranked sixth for a lower incidence of premature death.

In other signs of health, California scored above the national norm for cardiovascular deaths, infant mortality and preventable hospitalizations, the report said.

Several factors contributed to health problems among the state’s 38 million residents, however. California was worst in the nation for air pollution and was ranked 44th for its large uninsured population. The state was below the national norm for other core measures including whooping cough, childhood immunizations and children living in poverty.

Hawaii was the given the highest overall health ranking.

The report, with a clickable map of the 50 states and other features, is available at

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at or (209) 578-2321.

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