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



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

Mr. John Auerbach, Director of Intergovernmental and Strategic Affairs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will join our 2022 CHEAC Annual Meeting to revisit opportunities in public health infrastructure and workforce. Mr. Auerbach will discuss opportunities in rebuilding and strengthening the public health infrastructure at the local, state, and federal levels.

In his current role, Mr. Auerbach oversees a range of activities as lead strategic advisory 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.

Over the course of a 30-year career, Mr. Auerbach has held senior public health positions at all levels of government. Auerbach served as CDC’s Associate Director for Policy from 2014 through 2016 and Acting Director of the CDC’s Office of State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support in 2016. Prior to joining the CDC, Auerbach served as the Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for six years.

Mr. Auerbach 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.



Tomás Aragón, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Director and State Public Health Officer
California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Michelle Baass, M.P.P.A.
California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)

This year’s annual meeting will also feature a conversation with leaders from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). 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 CDPH and DHCS leaders about opportunities for California’s 61 local health departments.

Dr. Tomás Aragón serves as the director of the California Department of Public Health and the State Public Health Officer, since January 4, 2021. Prior to coming to CDPH, he was the health officer for the City and County of San Francisco and director of the public health division. Dr. Aragón has served in public health leadership roles for more than 20 years (communicable disease controller, deputy health officer, health officer, community health and chronic disease epidemiologist), including directing a public health emergency preparedness and response research and training center at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

Ms. Michelle Baass was appointed Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2021. Before her appointment to DHCS, Ms. Baass served as Undersecretary of the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency since 2018 and Deputy Secretary of the Office of Program and Fiscal Affairs at CHHS from 2017 to 2018. Prior to joining the executive branch, Ms. Baass worked in the Legislature for 13 years, including in the California State Senate, Senate Office of Research, and the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Stay tuned for additional information on keynote plenary presentations!