Jackson Resigns as Public Health Officer
Public Health Officer Richard Jackson on May 16 submitted his resignation, which will be effective June 30, the Los Angeles Times reports. Jackson, a nationally known physician, in a letter to top state health officials said he was resigning in order to return to the Bay Area to be closer to his family and pursue "long-standing academic interests."
The public health officer is responsible for administering the Department of Health Services' emergency preparedness programs and leading state efforts to address issues such as obesity and the public health work force.
Jackson served in the position for 14 months and on Wednesday declined to comment.
However, the Times reports that "several county health officers close to him lamented his resignation" and said the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) had not provided adequate support to his position.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe said Jackson was "clear in terms of the reasons for his resignation -- to work and live in the Bay Area," adding that critics are "trying to make a political point to advance whatever political interest they're trying to advance" (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 6/9).