SAN DIEGO COUNTY: Health and Human Services Director Resigns
Dr. Robert Ross, director of San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency, announced Tuesday he will leave the post to head the California Endowment, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. A nationally recognized public health expert, Ross has helmed HHS since its creation from five separate county departments in 1996. With nearly 6,000 employees and a budget more than $1 billion, HHS remains the county's largest agency. Before serving as HHS Director, Ross led the county health department. Many say they will miss Ross' "tremendous leadership capabilities" and his "very deep understanding of the multiple health challenges for [San Diego County] residents, particularly the underserved." Walt Ekard, the county's chief administrator, said: "His ability to bring the diverse constituency in the health and human services field together and get things accomplished ... is the quality we will most miss." Board members for the California Endowment, a charitable foundation established in 1996 when Blue Cross of California converted from not-for-profit to for-profit status, are excited about Ross' leadership skills. State HHS Secretary Grantland Johnson said: "It's no secret that many throughout the state believe that the endowment has not been well-focused, that it's lacking consistency and coherence" (Rother, 6/7). On accepting the position, Ross said: "I am very mindful of the tremendous responsibility involved in responsibly granting approximately $200 million a year toward improving the health of the people of this state" (California Endowment press release, 6/6).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.