California will launch a new Department of Public Health, beginning July 1, that will oversee the state's efforts to decrease disease rates and prepare for public health emergencies, such as bioterrorist attacks or flu outbreaks.
The new department's director, Mark Horton, said at a UC Davis forum during National Public Health Week in April that the new department will focus on chronic disease, communicable disease, family health, environmental health and health care quality.
Partnerships with county health departments, local organizations and the UC system, helping them to promote public health is also high on the agenda.
"Because of the start of our new department and the planning for a new School of Public Health at UC Davis, there is a unique opportunity here for collaboration," he says. "Obviously we've got a commitment and interest in looking at the entire network of universities and public health systems across the state, but there's no question in my mind that UC Davis has particular strengths that make it right for a great partnership between us.".