By CBS Baltimore Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WJZ) — The director of the Sacramento County Department of Health Services, who spent decades of his career in Maryland, has apologized for using a racist term to describe Asian Americans during a meeting about systemic racism earlier this week.

Dr. Peter Beilenson used the phrase “yellow folks” to describe Asian Americans during a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday while supporting a declaration identifying racism as a public health crisis, CBS Sacramento reports.

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Dr. Peter Beilenson. Credit: CBS Sacramento

Beilenson later apologized for what he said was a mistake.

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According to a 2018 news release announcing his hiring, Sacramento County officials said Beilenson served as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner between 1992 and 2005 as well as the Howard County Health Director from 2007 to 2012. After that, he served as the CEO, president and founder of Baltimore-based Evergreen Health.

Beilenson also got his Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, according to an alumni biography.

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CBS Baltimore Staff