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Head of California’s Public Health Department to step down

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the state’s Department of Public Health, will be stepping down at the end of next month.

Chapman broke the news in an email to staff Monday and said his last day on the job will be Jan. 31. He has led the department since June 2011.

In his resignation letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, Chapman cited a number of accomplishments during his tenure, including preparing California for potential cases of the Ebola virus and launching the department Office of Health Equity, which seeks to reduce health and mental health disparities.

“Public health is in action everywhere I look. I see healthy vaccinated children wearing bike helmets, and safe food consumed in smoke-free restaurants,” Chapman wrote. “I leave the department with complete confidence in the experience and talent of the CDPH team to carry out public health’s mission.”

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The department has also come under scrutiny in recent weeks by the Sacramento Bee for its oversight of nursing homes in the state.

“We’re grateful for Dr. Chapman’s service and sorry to see him go,” said Evan Westrup, spokesman for Gov. Brown.

Follow @melmason for more on California government and politics.


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