OC Health Care Agency appoints Dr. Veronica Kelley as new director

Expert to Take Over As Director of OC Health Care Agency, Bringing Proven Leadership and Knowledge to the Field of Behavioral Health

Dr. Veronica Kelley has been appointed as the new director of the OC Health Care Agency, taking over from Dr. Clayton Chau who left his post last June. CEO Frank Kim expressed his excitement about Kelley stepping into the role, highlighting her leadership in the behavioral health division during challenging times in the mental health and recovery care landscape.

Kelley has been overseeing the county’s behavioral health services since December 2021, bringing with her over 33 years of experience in the field. She is a licensed clinical social worker with nearly 25 years of experience and began her career at the Health Care Agency in 1999. Kelley then spent 13 years in San Bernardino County’s Department of Behavioral Health, serving as director for six years before returning to HCA.

In her new role, Kelley has focused on reorganizing the department to better address behavioral health changes, including those related to Medi-Cal. She has also worked closely with local law enforcement to redirect mental health and homeless calls from public safety responders to mental health professionals. Her promotion to director of the Health Care Agency was effective as of March 22.

Kelley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new position, having worked extensively in both public and private sectors throughout her career. Her dedication to improving access to quality healthcare for all residents of Orange County is evident through her leadership efforts at both San Bernardino County’s Department of Behavioral Health and now at OC Health Care Agency.

As she begins her tenure as director, Kelley will continue to prioritize addressing critical issues facing Orange County’s behavioral health system, including funding cuts and workforce shortages that have made it difficult for many patients to receive timely care. Her focus on collaboration between government agencies, community organizations, and healthcare providers will be crucial in ensuring that everyone who needs help receives it.

Overall, Dr. Veronica Kelley’s appointment as director of OC Health Care Agency marks an exciting new chapter for Orange County’s behavioral health system. With her extensive experience and proven track record of success in this field, she is well-equipped to lead this agency through these challenging times and create a brighter future for all residents who rely on its services.

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