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
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
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
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.
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
Mental Health County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health,
Director of the Los Angeles Department of Mental
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
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.