CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Newsom Appoints New Health and Human Services Undersecretary and Health Care Services Director

September 16, 2021

The Governor’s office recently announced the appointment of Marko Mijic as the new Undersecretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), and the appointment of Michelle Baass as the Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

CHHS and DHCS provide oversight on a number of core programs and services that directly impact local communities. The partnership between CHHS, DHCS, and California Counties is vital to the continued administration of programs and services that reach the most vulnerable in our state. Marko Mijic and Michelle Baass both possess significant experience that benefits these crucial state and local partnerships.

Mr. Mijic’s extensive background in federal and state policy and fiscal infrastructure has proven to be an asset for CHHS and counties. In his previous positions in CHHS, Mr. Mijic has led and engaged in a number of successful implementation projects with the goal of improving service delivery and stakeholder engagement. Mr. Mijic has continuously reached out to counties to collaborate on several significant new policies, and county priorities while keeping service delivery and access as the top importance.

Ms. Baass’ experience within CHHS, the Senate, the Senate Office of Research, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and the private sector will also serve her well in this new director of DHCS. CSAC appreciates the many times that Ms. Baass has been available to answer county questions on technical issues. Ms. Baass’ understanding of the complex fiscal county arrangements within the health and human services area will be an asset as the department leads a number of large policy and procedural changes such as CalAIM, the Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan Procurement process, and Behavioral Health reforms.

CSAC has worked closely with Mr. Mijic and Ms. Baass and looks forward to continued partnership in the coming years on critical health and human services issues of importance to counties.

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