10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG
Surgeon General
Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG)

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

Friday morning's plenary will feature a conversation with leaders from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG), and the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). As the state continues to address health equity, respond to public health threats, and implement an overhaul of the state's Medi-Cal system, we will hear from CDPH, CA-OSG, and DHCS leaders about the State's successes and challenges, as well as opportunities for California's 61 local health departments.

Dr. Tomás Aragón has served 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.

Dr. Diana Ramos is a well-recognized public health leader dedicated to improving health care quality and equity. She was appointed California's second Surgeon General in 2022 and previously served as the CDPH Assistant Deputy Director of Chronic Disease Prevention. Her prior 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.

Director 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.