First Year Checkup: Strategies for a Stronger Public Health System

Report #194, January 2009


In this report, the Commission recognizes the challenges in establishing a separate public health department, the California Department of Public Health, and advisory committee and calls for stronger and more independent public health leadership. 

During its review, the Commission found that the state had implemented some of the Commission’s earlier recommendations, including creating a new department of public health and a public health advisory committee to assist the state public health officer. The Commission also found that Californians need an independent public health leader with the authority to act first and foremost as an advocate for the health and well-being of the public.

The Commission recommends placing the public health department directly beneath the governor and empowering the public health board with more independence to provide oversight and guidance to health department leaders.