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San Antonio's top health official resigns, calls on city to hire person of color as replacement in letter

Her resignation comes as the city of San Antonio sees an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases.

SAN ANTONIO — The City of San Antonio said Friday that Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick has notified officials she will resign from her post, effective July 3. 

Her resignation comes as the city of San Antonio sees an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases.

City Manager Erik Walsh said, “Last night, I received a letter of resignation from Metro Health Director Dr. Dawn Emerick. Clearly, the timing is not good, but we wish her well in her future endeavors. The COVID-19 emergency has revealed the depth of talent that exists within our health department, which will continue to lead the public health response. (Assistant City Manager) Dr. (Colleen) Bridger and I will work with my team to develop a plan going forward.”

In a letter sent to Bridger this week, Emerick writes that "these are very extraordinary and unpredictable and for many families, it's even a bit traumatizing." 

She also called on the city to hire a person of color to replace her as the city's top health official, adding that recent Black Lives Matter protests have forced her to reflect on equity and representation. 

The city announced Friday night that assistant city manager Dr. Colleen Bridger, who headed the agency prior to Emerick, will re-assume the role of director of Metro Health.