Professor of Practice & Chair, DSW Program, Doctor of Social Work, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California
Dr. Southard joined the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health as Director in 1998. In this role, Dr. Southard led the largest public mental health system in the country, serving over 250,000 clients annually in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. He has overseen a 304% growth in the system from a gross budget of $495+ million in Fiscal Year 1997-98 to nearly $2 billion in Fiscal Year 2013-14. Dr. Southard received his master’s degree in social work from University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate in social work at UCLA.
Turning Point Community Programs, Chief Executive Officer
Al Rowlett is the CEO of Turning Point Community Programs, overseeing 30 programs serving adults and children with psychiatric disabilities in seven counties. Al is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He holds a BA degree from Ottawa University, an MBA from Golden Gate University, and an MSW from CSUS.
Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc., President, and CEO
Albert M. Senella, President and Chief Executive Officer at Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc. (TTC). Since 1972, Albert M. Senella has guided a progressive range of integrated behavioral healthcare services at Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc. (TTC). In this capacity, he has developed a range of substance use disorder (SUD) and integrated health, mental health, and primary care services responsive to the needs of uninsured, low-income Los Angeles residents as well as persons with private resources. In response to the growing HIV epidemic, these services were interwoven with comprehensive HIV prevention, intervention and treatment services, creating a nationally recognized model of HIV services for drug users.
County of San Diego Health and Human Services Department, Behavioral Health Director
Alfredo Aguirre, LCSW, is the Director of Behavioral Health Services of San Diego County and has served in the capacity of Mental Health Director since 1999. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of Social Managers and as a co-chair of the Cultural Competence, Equity, and Social Justice Committee of the California Mental Health Directors Association. He also serves on the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch Council, a national advisory committee to the Children’s Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services under SAMHSA.
Amy Ellis is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in public service with Placer County for 14 years; beginning in direct services and moving into policy level positions. Currently, she manages Mental Health and Substance use programs and maintains her commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for those served.
Institute for Mental Health and Wellness St Joseph Hoag Health System
Regional Executive Medical Director
Clayton Chau was formerly employed by LA Care Health Plan as the Medical Director for Behavioral Health and Care Management Services in October 2013. He is also a Lecturer at the UCLA School of Public Health and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC Irvine School of Medicine. Previously he worked for the Orange County Health Care Agency Behavioral Health Services for 13 years providing care to people living with severe persistent mental illness and integrated care for the county’s Public Health HIV clinic. He was also the Director of the Center of Excellence in Education, Training, Research and Advocacy for Reducing Health Disparities.
Daphne Shaw is a retired public health and clinical microbiologist. Ms. Shaw was a member of the San Joaquin County Mental Health Advisory Board, the Organization of Mental Health Advisory Boards, and the California Council on Mental Health. Currently, Ms. Shaw is a member of the California Mental Health Planning Council and a board member of the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions.
San Francisco State University, School of Social Work, Associate Professor Director, Student Success Program
Dina Redman, MPH, Ph.D., LCSW, is an associate professor at San Francisco State University’s School of Social Work and the founder and director of the MHSA-funded Student Success Program. She has served as the program coordinator for SF State’s Student Mental Health Initiative and as a social worker for people with a history of substance misuse and incarceration.
Ellen Ahn is Executive Director of Korean Community Services, a multi-service community-based organization in Orange County. In addition to overseeing the agency, she is active on many local community boards and coalitions. Ms. Ahn holds a BA in History from Yale, a JD from Georgetown and an MSW from USC.
Educational and Mental Health Policy Research, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, UC Davis
Gustavo Loera’s work and research focuses on three key areas: (1) advancing community-and-school-defined solutions to reduce health and behavioral health disparities using a community-based participatory research approach, specifically aimed at prevention and early intervention strategies, (2) promoting equity and access in urban education through career technical education, specifically capacity-building and policy implications that increases ethnic underrepresented youths’ school engagement and career pathway interests, and (3) developing and implementing a culturally and linguistically competent health care model for underserved communities.
Karen Larsen, MFT just passed the one year mark as the Mental Health Director and Alcohol and Drug Administrator for Yolo County Department of Health Services. Prior to this position, Karen was the Director of Behavioral Health Services for CommuniCare Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center, where she worked for 15 years. In Karen’s current position she is responsible for ensuring high-quality care for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) or severe emotional disturbance (SED), and their families.
County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, Executive Director
Kirsten Barlow, MSW, began serving as Executive Director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) of California in October 2015. Over the past year, Kirsten has worked as Executive Officer of the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders, a position to which she was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. The Council on Mentally Ill Offenders develops strategies for keeping youth and adults with mental illness out of the criminal justice system.
Orange County Health Care Agency, Behavioral Health Director
Mary Hale has more than 25 years in the behavioral health field. She currently serves as the Behavioral Health Director for Orange County where she has the responsibility for client-centered/directed care and recovery of clients, families and communities quality, through a comprehensive community system of care for behavioral health available in a county with 3.1 million residents, with a budget of over $350 million per year and a clinical and peer staff of approximately 1000. She serves on a number of statewide committees and associations, many of which focus on co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Mental Health County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health, Director of the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health
Dr. Sherin was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as the County’s Director of Mental Health effective November 1, 2016. In this role, he leads the largest public mental health system in the country, serving over 250,000 clients annually in the most populous and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. He is a psychiatrist and neurobiologist by trade with a wide range of professional experience. Most recently he served as both the chief medical officer and executive vice president of military communities for Volunteers of America, an organization with a vast national network that serves a full spectrum of vulnerable clients including at-risk youth and family, intellectually disabled, veteran, frail elderly and prison re-entry populations.
Retired as Chief, Behavioral Health Operations for the County of Orange, Health Care Agency (HCA). Career includes 25 years experience in policy development and implementation, fiscal, program and operations management of behavioral health services for HCA. Currently, serve as a member of the Orange County MHSA Steering Committee.
Board Member, Aegis Institute, Canoga Park, California since 2003 and Chairman, Patient Advisory and Advocacy Group for Aegis Treatment Centers since 2003
Steve worked collaboratively with Aegis to develop a relationship with its patients in the formation of the Patient Advisory and Advocacy Group (PAAG). Since its formation, the PAAG has served as a venue allowing patients to give feedback to all levels of management both locally and at the corporate level. The PAAG has a strong presence in the community and its members have frequently testified before California State Assembly and Senate committees. PAAG representatives have served as strong opponents of the stigma associated with methadone treatment in the communities that Aegis serves.
Aegis Treatment Centers, Executive VP of Policy Government and Public Affairs
Steve is Executive Vice President for Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Aegis Treatment Centers, LLC in Canoga Park. Aegis is the largest narcotic treatment provider in California with 25 Treatment clinics serving about 7,000 patients per day in 14 counties. He has been with Aegis for more than 17 years.
In addition to serving on the board of CIBHS, he also serves on the boards CAADPE and COMP and is a member of the DHCS – NTPAC and DHCS – Drug/Medi-Cal Rates workgroup.