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New Director Takes Over OC Health Care Agency’s Behavioral Health Services, Promoting Collaborative Care for Mental Health Needs

Dr. Veronica Kelley has been named as the new director of OC Health Care Agency by the Orange County Register

New Director Takes Over OC Health Care Agency’s Behavioral Health Services, Promoting Collaborative Care for Mental Health Needs

Dr. Veronica Kelley has been promoted to the director of the OC Health Care Agency, where she has been leading the county’s behavioral health services since December 2021. Dr. Kelley was previously the chair of the agency’s behavioral health division and has over 33 years of experience in the field, with nearly 25 years as a licensed clinical social worker.

Her promotion comes after former director Dr. Clayton Chau left the post last June, and CEO Frank Kim expressed his excitement about Dr. Kelley stepping into the director role. In a statement, Kim praised her leadership strength and her ability to navigate the changing landscape of mental health and recovery care services.

Dr. Kelley began her career at the Health Care Agency in 1999, working in the behavioral health department before spending 13 years with San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, including six years as its director, before returning to the HCA in 2021. Since rejoining the agency, she has been instrumental in reorganizing the department to better address behavioral health changes, such as those related to Medi-Cal.

One of Dr. Kelley’s key accomplishments has been collaborating with local law enforcement to divert mental health and homeless calls from traditional responders to mental health workers, which has improved access to critical services for those in need of care. Her promotion became effective on March 22, allowing her to continue her work in improving access to behavioral health services in Orange County.

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