José G Cabañas, MD, MPH, serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Wake County Government. He is an experienced, board-certified emergency medical services and emergency medicine physician with expertise in patient-centered systems of care and population health. As Chief Medical Officer, he provides executive leadership to ensure integration and coordination across Wake County programs and services that support the community’s health and safety.
Dr. Cabañas works with community partners to build stronger connections to promote clinical excellence and improve vulnerable patients’ access to care. As Chief Medical Officer, he also serves as the Medical Director for Wake County EMS System. He provides vision, direction and medical oversight for the Wake County EMS System.
Dr. Cabañas is a fellow in Clinical Scholars, a national leadership program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that invests in experienced health care professionals who are passionate about collaborating across disciplines to tackle complex health problems in their communities. As part of this program, Dr. Cabañas works with the Wake County Familiar Faces Health Collaborative team. This team works with communities and other stakeholders to develop, implement and evaluate a service model to improve hand-offs between agencies and systems of care, improve health outcomes and reduce utilization and costs of crisis services.
Dr. Cabañas completed his Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Puerto Rico. After residency, he completed his EMS Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his Master’s in Public Health. Before returning to North Carolina in 2015, Dr. Cabañas served as Deputy Medical Director for Austin/Travis County EMS System in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Cabañas is also a researcher, educator and national leader in EMS. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the Board of Directors of the National Association of EMS Physicians. He holds an academic appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dr. Cabañas regularly speaks at national meetings and publishes scientific articles on many emergency medicine and prehospital care topics.