From Chair to Director: Dr. Veronica Kelley’s Leadership in Orange County’s Behavioral Health Services

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

Dr. Veronica Kelley, the former chair of the OC Health Care Agency’s behavioral health division, has been promoted to the position of director. She has been leading the county’s behavioral health services since December 2021, after the departure of former director Dr. Clayton Chau in June.

CEO Frank Kim expressed his excitement about Dr. Kelley stepping into the director role, praising her leadership strength and her ability to navigate the changing landscape of mental health and recovery care services. With over 33 years of experience in the behavioral health field and nearly 25 years as a licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Kelley is well-equipped to take on this new challenge.

Dr. Kelley began her career at the Health Care Agency in 1999, working in the behavioral health department. She then spent 13 years with the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, including six years as its director, before returning to the HCA. 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. Her promotion to director became effective on March 22, allowing her to continue her work in improving access to behavioral health services in Orange County.

The OC Health Care Agency congratulates Dr. Kelly on her promotion and looks forward to her continued leadership and dedication in advancing behavioral health services in Orange County.

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