As he reflects on a lifetime of service, memories and moments run deep for Christopher H. Bates. However, when asked to pinpoint the pinnacle of his career, there is no doubt.
For 10 years, Bates traveled the nation as a deputy director in the Office of HIV/AIDS policy for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, promoting the federal government’s policies and prevention plan for HIV/AIDS.
“To serve as the director of AIDS policy,” Bates said. “There’s nothing else I’ve done or nothing that I will do that will be more meaningful.”
In his current role with the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Bates is primarily responsible for developing men’s health, wellness and prevention programs. He also administers the congressionally appropriated funds for the Minority AIDS Initiative. No small tasks, he admits.
“We have got a yeoman’s job of just having a mature conversation with everybody that is sexually active about the ongoing threat of sexually transmitted diseases of which HIV is one,” Bates said.
Bates, 65, grew up in Philadelphia, attended high school in Miami, and received his B.A. at the University of Michigan and his M.P.A. at Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. He has served on numerous agency boards, committees and commissions, globally and locally.