DAVIS ADMINISTRATION: HHS Administrator Nominated As Secretary Of Health And Welfare
Gov.-elect Gray Davis yesterday nominated the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Grantland Johnson as his secretary of health and welfare, a position that would require Johnson to oversee the state Department of Health Services and the Department of Social Services. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Johnson, who has been director of HHS' western region since 1993, "will be the first African American to serve as secretary" if he is confirmed by the state Senate (12/15). Noting that Johnson "played a key role in helping western states adjust to mammoth changes in the social services system as a result of the 1996 welfare reform act," Davis said, "Grantland will use his formidable skills to continue to make progress on welfare-to-work and expanding the delivery of health care services to children." State Assemblywoman Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley), chair of the Human Services Committee, said, "He understands how to bring different groups together. I think he's been incredibly responsive to counties in helping them figure out what they need to do to comply with welfare reform" (Ellis/Groves, Los Angeles Times, 12/15). In a statement Johnson said, "I look forward to those opportunities where we can build on existing partnerships to enhance the delivery of health services at the local level" ( Scripps-McClatchy/San Jose Mercury News, 11/15).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.