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City Announces New Director for Pasadena Public Health Department

Published on Thursday, September 3, 2015 | 3:39 pm
Michael Johnson is the new Director for the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD)

City Manager Michael J. Beck today announced the appointment of Michael Johnson as the new Director for the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD). As the Public Health Director, Mr. Johnson is responsible for the overall planning, administration and operation of the PPHD. He is expected to begin his duties effective Sept. 14, 2015.

Johnson’s appointment capped nearly a year-long nationwide recruitment process by the City. The City is also in the process of hiring several other department directors, including for Finance, Public Works, Human Resources, Human Services and Recreation and Water & Power.

The City is in the final stages of the selection process for the Finance Director and the Water and Power Department General Manager. Interviews for the Human Resources and Public Works directors are slated to occur in September and October.

The City is also finalizing plans with an executive recruiter to begin finding candidates for the Human Services and Recreation Department Director.

Johnson has been the Assistant Director for the Merced County Public Health Department in Merced, Calif., since 2013. His duties included leading accreditation efforts and managing health clinics and emergency management programs. Prior to Merced County, he worked at the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services for 23 years.

“Mr. Johnson has a history of successfully managing and implementing public health programs at both the county and city level,” City Manager Beck said. “His extensive experience at various levels within public health gives him special insight into effectively directing our health department and building on the department’s reputation of excellence in public health.”

The new Public Health Director said he was “honored and excited to serve the Pasadena community” as the new PPHD leader. “I look forward to working with the department, City officials and most importantly the community to continue Pasadena’s tradition of protecting the public’s health and quality of life.”

Johnson will have overall responsibility for the PPHD while Dr. Ying-Ying Goh will continue to serve as the City’s Health Officer for specific medical issues.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. He is married to Rebecca and has a son, Charlie, 23, and daughter, Leah, 20.

The maximum annual salary for the Director of Public Health is $194,212, according to information on the City’s website. Contract terms will be finalized prior to the start of  Johnson’s formal duties.

Pasadena is only one of three cities in California with a municipal health department. For more than 120 years, PPHD has worked to promote and protect the health of the greater Pasadena area. Visit for more information.

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