The 2022 CHEAC Annual Meeting will feature multiple keynote plenary addresses and panel discussions from notable local, state, and federal leaders in public health.



Sponsored by Primary.Health

Kamiar Alaei
Chair, Health Science Department
California State University, Long Beach

Deirdra Wilson
Associate Professor, Public Health Program
Touro University California

Michael Rodriguez
California Alliance of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Fewer than one in six graduates of public health report employment by governmental public health agencies throughout the U.S.. To discuss strategies and identify opportunities available to cultivate the next generation of public health professionals, academic leaders from universities throughout the state will join us.

Kamiar Alaei, MD, MPH, MS, DrPH, MSt serves as the Chair of the Health Science Department at the California State University, Long Beach. He studied medicine, epidemiology, international health, health policy, and international human rights law at prestigious universities such as Harvard and Oxford. Dr. Alaei is the PI of a $10 million grant from ONC to develop culturally relevant public health information technology through a health equity lens and Director of  the California-wide consortium of Public Health Informatics and Technology in order to enhance public health information technology efforts, improve COVID-19 data collection and increase representation of underrepresented communities within the public health IT workforce.  He has extensive public health IT experience including developing a health education program via an App for internally displaced medical students.

He co-founded the first ‘Triangular Clinic’ for three target groups in Iran (drug users, HIV patients, and STI cases), documented by the World Health Organization as a ‘Best Practice Model’. His established record as a relationship-builder with different constituencies will also draw from his PI role on several major federal grants for over 300 mid-career health professionals and 270 legal and medical professionals on public health and human rights. Dr. Alaei has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles in prestigious publications including the Lancet Global Health, the British Medical Journal and AIDS. He has been featured and interviewed by major academic journals such as NatureScience, and The Lancet.

Deirdra Wilson, MPH, PhD is an Associate Professor of the Public Health Program at Touro University in Solano County. Wilson additionally serves as the Chair of Community Action for Health and the Director of the Center for Public Health Workforce Development. She received her MPH in Population and Family Health from University of California, Los Angeles, and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Wilson completed her dissertation in epidemiology entitled, “The Effects of Obesity and Obesity-Related Comorbidities on Breast Cancer Survival.” Dr. Wilson has taught public health courses in social justice, social inequities, epidemiology, and research methods.

Michael Rodriguez, MD, MPH, is the Director of the California Alliance of Schools and Programs of Public Health and Special Advisor for the California Academic Health Department Project. He was professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and founding chair of the UCLA Global Health Minor. He has led multidisciplinary collaborative initiatives to promote health equity, including as founding director of the Health Equity Network of the Americas, an international network with representatives from 26 countries, founding director of the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America, and founding director of the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity.

Dr. Rodriguez’s policy relevant research includes ethnic/racial and immigrant health equity, gun, youth and domestic violence prevention, and primary care for urban underserved populations. He received his bs in nutrition at UC Berkeley; md from UCLA; residency in family medicine from UCSF; mph at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University and was previously a professor of family medicine at UCSF. He enjoys teaching, mentoring, and working with communities.



Diana Ramos
Surgeon General
Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG)

This year’s annual meeting will also feature a conversation with a state leader from the California Office of Surgeon General. As the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and shifts its attention to significant public health planning efforts and an overhaul of the state’s Medi-Cal system, we will hear from newly appointed Surgeon General Dr. Diana Ramos about opportunities for California’s 61 local health departments.

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG is a well-recognized public health leader dedicated to improving health care quality and equity. She was recently appointed California’s second Surgeon General and previously served as the CDPH Assistant Deputy Director of Chronic Disease Prevention. Past roles include the Director for Reproductive Health in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Ramos is trained in obstetrics and gynecology, and her areas of expertise include health disparities, social determinants of health, preconception/interconception health, preterm birth, contraception, and quality improvement in health.



Sponsored by Manifest MedEx

Rohan Radhakrishna
Deputy Director
CDPH Office of Health Equity

Lori Williams
Public Health Director
Stanislaus County

Sara Bosse
Public Health Director
Madera County

Mónica Morales
Health Services Agency Director
Santa Cruz County

As local health departments rebuild their workforces from decades of underinvestment, ensuring workplace environments that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion will be key to improving the health of all Californians. This keynote panel will feature numerous CHEAC Members to reflect on workplace strategies to support diverse public health professionals from all backgrounds.

Rohan Radhakrishna, MD, MPH, MS was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom as the Deputy Director of the CDPH Office of Health Equity and serves as CDPH’s Chief Equity Officer and Tribal Liaison. He strives to uphold the universal values of love, dignity, and transformation. He believes that inequity in a world of abundance is morally and socially unacceptable. He aims to advance partnerships to change narratives and power structures to help create a California for All. Rohan has 20 years of experience learning from and working with impacted communities. He spent 10 years at a local health department most recently serving as Deputy Health Officer for Contra Costa County since 2018 and Chair of the Department of Family and Adult Medicine from 2015 to 2019. His local experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, power shutoffs, wildfire smoke, and heat emergencies has solidified his commitment to addressing the overlapping public health crises of climate change and structural racism. Rohan brings a global perspective to California’s diverse population having lived and worked abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador, a Public Health Consultant in Africa with UNICEF and the Norwegian Refugee Council, a Rotary Ambassador Scholar in India, and the Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador at Doctors Without Borders. His efforts always focus on building healthy communities in partnership with impacted populations.

Sara Bosse serves as the Director of the Madera County Department of Public Health where she directs, manages, and oversees the wide variety of functions, operations, and programs, including rural, public, and child health and disability programs, disease investigation and mitigation, and community health and wellness programs. Sara has been a leader in upstream public health work in California since 1998.

Lori Williams, MSW, is the Director of Public Health in Stanislaus County. Lori’s career in public health spans over three decades and three public health departments (Alameda, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus). Before relocating in the Central Valley, Lori worked as a program manager in Alameda County for over 25 years. Lori is a caring, compassionate, and courageous leader. A social worker by training, Lori believes in social justice, creating health, advancing equity, and the power of transformation.

Mónica Morales, MPA is the Health Services Agency Director of Santa Cruz County. In her current post, Ms. Morales directs programs focused on environmental health, public health, behavioral health, and clinical services. Prior to joining HSA, Mónica was the Deputy Director for the Center for Healthy Communities at CDPH overseeing programs that address environmental health, occupational health, injury and violence prevention, oral health, and chronic disease prevention. Ms. Morales was also the Child, Family, and Community Wellness Deputy Bureau Chief at the State of Nevada’s Division of Public & Behavioral Health, where she supported programs focusing on Women Infant, and Children, Chronic Disease Prevention & Promotion, and the Office of Food Security. Mónica was raised and Watsonville, California, and holds a BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University in New York. 



Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

John Auerbach
Director, Intergovernmental & Strategic Affairs
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Celeste Philip
Acting Director, CSTLTS
Deputy Director, NID

Steven Reynolds
Senior Public Health Advisor, CSELS

After years of underinvestment, California this year dedicated significant, ongoing resources to state and local health departments to bolster public health workforce and infrastructure. This combined $300 million annual investment, sought by CHEAC and the California Can’t Wait Coalition, aims to provide a flexible funding source to rebuild our critical public health infrastructure statewide.

John Auerbach, MBA, is the Director of Intergovernmental and Strategic Affairs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mr. Auerbach will be joined by two CDC colleagues, Dr. Celeste Philip and Steven Reynolds, to discuss efforts underway and forthcoming opportunities in achieving a sustainable, equitable, and robust public health infrastructure and workforce at local, state, and federal levels.

In his current role, Mr. Auerbach oversees a range of activities as lead strategic advisor on CDC engagement with government agencies, public health partners, and other external partners. Auerbach previously served as the President and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) where he oversaw TFAH’s work to promote sound public health policy and make disease prevention and national priority.

Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, is the acting director of the CDC Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS) and the Deputy Director for Non-Infectious Diseases (DDNID). Dr. Philips was previously the Sonoma County Health Officer and the State of Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health.

Steven Reynolds, MPH, is Senior Public Health Advisor at the CDC Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS). Mr. Reynolds leads the CDC section involved in implementing the federal government’s $3.0 billion effort to revitalize the country’s public health workforce and infrastructure.

Mr. Auerbach and colleagues will join CHEAC again to revisit opportunities for California and its local health jurisdictions to bolster and expand our public health infrastructure and workforce as the state rebounds from the pandemic and shifts its focus to additional pressing public health issues.