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The OC Health Care Agency has appointed Dr. Veronica Kelley as its new director, replacing former director Dr. Clayton Chau who left the post last June. CEO Frank Kim expressed excitement about Kelley taking on 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.

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