SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Central Coast Medical Association awarded Penny E. Borenstein, MD, MPH, as the 2020 Physician of the Year for San Luis Obispo County. The award is for a physician who has gone above and beyond, and due to the challenges of the current pandemic, Dr. Borenstein was the obvious honoree for 2020.

Dr. Borenstein received her medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse in New York, followed by a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. For nearly 20 years, she worked in a variety of roles in Maryland, including Public Health Physician with the Bureau of Immunization, Executive Director of Baltimore HealthCare Access, and Health Officer with Howard County Health Department. In 2008, she moved across the county and joined the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department as Health Officer/Public Health Director.

Dr. Borenstein received her Physician of the Year award at a virtual celebration, which included congratulatory messages from community leaders. Wade Horton, San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer, said, “Our community is fortunate to have such a practical, smart, and compassionate Health Officer leading us through this pandemic.” Others spoke about their admiration of Dr. Borenstein, along with her dedication, data-driven approach, and kind demeanor. Dr. Rene’ Bravo shared how she is a “calming influence on the community.” Dr. Borenstein has worked tirelessly during the pandemic, and everyone expressed their appreciation for having her in our community.

Upon receiving her award, Dr. Borenstein said she was humbled and honored by the recognition. She shared her appreciation of the “incredible, hard-working, smart, and capable people at the Public Health Department,” and she also thanked physicians in the community for all of their hard work during these challenging times.


CCMA would like to thank those who helped honor Dr. Penny Borenstein, including Jeff Armstrong; Rene’ Bravo, MD; James Brescia, Ed.D.; Tom Hale, MD; Wade Horton; Mark Lisa; Jim Malone, MD; Christy Mulkerin, MD, CCHP; Liz Pozzebon; Anne Robin, LMFT; and Wendy Wendt. 

A recording of the celebration for Dr. Penny Borenstein can be viewed at

2020 MD of the Year Penny
Dr. Borenstein Named San Luis Obispo County Physician of the Year

Central Coast Medical Association

The mission of the Central Coast Medical Association to promote the science and art of medicine, the care and well-being of patients, the protection of the public health, the betterment of the medical profession, and to achieve health equity and justice. The 600-physician member organization includes medical doctors of all specialties throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. For more information, visit