Ruth M. Batson Social Justice Award 2008

John M. Auerbach: Award Recipient

John M. AuerbachRecipient of the 2008 Ruth M. Batson Social Justice Award is John M. Auerbach, Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health. Mr. Auerbach was appointed to the post in April, 2007 by Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Judyann Bigby. As Commissioner, he heads a Department with 3,100 employees that includes four public health hospitals, the State Laboratory, several regulatory bodies, and numerous programmatic units addressing chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, environmental health, tobacco control, children and adolescent health, and emergency preparedness. He is the Chair of the Public Health Council, the State’s Health Policy Board, and a member of the Governor’s Anti-Crime Council.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Mr. Auerbach had been the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission for 9 years. He oversaw the City’s Emergency Medical Services Department, several substance abuse treatment facilities and the second largest homeless services program in New England. Under his leadership, the Commission implemented the strongest tobacco control regulations in the nation and developed new initiatives on cancer, heart disease, asthma, obesity, emergency preparedness as well as a broad-based and comprehensive campaign to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Mr. Auerbach had previously worked at the State Health Department as the Chief of Staff and later as an Assistant Commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau. He began his career in public health as an administrator in the Uphams Corner Community Health Center, then a manager at Boston City Hospital and the Boston University School of Medicine. Mr. Auerbach received his BA from Clark University and his MBA with a concentration in health care administration from Boston University School of Management.

We are extremely happy to bestow this award upon John M. Auerbach, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health.