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⭒ New Developments

Nursing Homes Not Only Industry Protected by the Department of Public Health

A fascinating October 1, 2019 article by Capital & Main describes how the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) betrayed the public beyond those living in nursing homes (whom it routinely betrays). The article focuses on how it helped lobbyists defeat legislation that would protect the public from lead poisoning and questions CDPH’s commitment to protecting public health in California. More broadly, it reveals that siding with the very industries it is charged with regulating is standard operating procedure at CDPH.

Who led this betrayal of public interests? Until June 2019, when Governor Newsom forced her to resign, CDPH was led by Karen Smith. Under her leadership, Smith not only coddled regulated industries, she “owned, at various times, anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to up to $1.5 million in stock of pesticide manufacturers, health care and long-term nursing companies, cellphone manufacturers and air-polluting oil producers.” In 2018, CANHR called for Smith to be replaced due to conflicts of interest and for deplorable policies and practices that harmed nursing home residents.

On September 13, 2019, Governor Newsom appointed Sonia Angell of New York to replace Smith. CANHR hopes that Dr. Angell has been charged with reversing CDPH’s corrupt culture and transforming it into a consumer protection agency.