Calif. Department of Public Health Director To Step Down Next Month
On Wednesday, California Department of Public Health Director Ronald Chapman announced that he will step down at the end of January 2015, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The announcement comes as the department faces "serious challenges," according to "Capitol Alert."
Details of Announcement
Chapman, who has served as DPH director since 2011, announced his resignation in an email to staff. He did not detail his reasons for stepping down, but he wrote, "I have no doubt that my work in public health will continue."
The Brown administration has not yet announced who will succeed Chapman.
Challenges Facing DPH
According to "Capitol Alert," Chapman's resignation comes amid many issues facing the department, including allegations of inadequate oversight of the state's nursing homes.
For example, DPH was criticized for lacking current, accurate ownership information on the state's nursing homes, despite a California law that requires the department to do so. Further, ownership information was completely omitted from the state's database in some cases.
Meanwhile, a state audit released in October found a backlog of more than 11,000 unresolved complaints at nursing homes across California (Ortiz, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 12/3). More than 40% of the complaints were classified as having caused or were likely to cause harm to a patient.
The audit made several recommendations, but DPH rejected the suggestion to make specific time frames for completing complaint investigations (California Healthline, 10/31).
Further, a Los Angeles County audit found that hundreds of nursing home complaints had been inappropriately closed, according to "Capitol Alert" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 12/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.