Dr. Michael Drake, the President-elect of the University of California, recognized the importance of the work that the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA) at the School of Public Health has been doing for 20 years, helping farmworkers and underserved populations in California.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Drake remembers the photo of a farmworker that Xochitl Castañeda, HIA’s former director gave him 15 years ago when he was the UC Vice President for Health Affairs and co-chair of the HIA Advisory Board, which he has kept hanging on his office wall ever since. That photo was a token of appreciation for his support of HIA’s work towards improving the health and wellbeing of farmworkers and Latino immigrants.
The fact that Dr. Drake mentions this, along with other important and serious topics related to demilitarization of police, enhance tuition affordability for students, and increase diversity within the university, highlights the humanity and the moral commitment that he has with the most vulnerable communities and individuals in our state.
We are delighted with his selection as the new president of the University of California, and we look forward to his efforts to help California lead the way in these troubling times.