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Tuesday, March 26 , 2019, 12:01 am | Fair 52º


CenCal Health Announces Three Appointments to Board of Directors

Ron Werft Click to view larger
Ron Werft
Debbie Arnold Click to view larger
Debbie Arnold

CenCal Health, the publically-sponsored health plan for Medi-Cal in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, has named three members to its Board of Directors for the 2018/19 fiscal year.

They are San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold; Richard “Michael” Hill, San Luis Obispo County Health Agency director; and Ron Werft, president/CEO of Cottage Health.

“I am very happy to again serve with others,” said Werft, who previously served on the CenCal Health Board for eight years during two terms.

Michael Hill Click to view larger
Michael Hill

“CenCal plays a critical role not only in assuring access to health care services for thousands of people in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties but in connecting patients to primary care physicians and essential preventative services,” he said.

Werft is a graduate of the UC San Diego, and holds a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. Last year, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics honored Werft as their HealthCare Hero for his commitment to the well-being of local residents.

He has also earned the California Hospital Association Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to the California healthcare community, and the 2015 Walker-Sullivan Fellowship presented by California Health Foundation & Trust.

Cottage Health is a not-for-profit organization that provides acute inpatient, outpatient and emergency care, with hospitals in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley.

New to the board is Hill, who supervises three department heads at San Luis Obispo County’s Health Agency, which has some 550 employees and a budget of more than $100 million. Services include health administration, public health, behavioral health, animal services and office of the public guardian.

“My mission is to improve the health of everybody in my county, and CenCal Health is a very important part of serving the health needs of many of our residents,” Hill said.

Hill has a master’s degree in public health and public administration, and a bachelor of science in biology. He also is board certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a certified health education specialist and a certified public health administrator.

Arnold is CenCal Health’s newest board member. Prior to her election as supervisor, Arnold worked as a legislative aide at the County Supervisors office and as a San Luis Obispo District representative for the State Senate.

The Cal Poly alumna says her priority as supervisor is making the Central Coast a place where families can not only live, but thrive.

Arnold, who replaces Supervisor Adam Hill on the board, owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for 17 years. She and her family are members of the local agricultural community.

She said she considers herself an advocate of public access to information about proposed policies that will impact local residents in her county.

Thirteen members, appointed by the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county boards of supervisors, make up CenCal Health’s Board of Directors.

The board is composed of local government representatives, physicians, hospital representatives, member representatives, other healthcare provider representatives, and business representatives. In addition to Arnold, Hill and Werft, currently serving on the CenCal Health Board of Directors are:

Dr. René Bravo, physician representative, San Luis Obispo County; Van Do-Reynoso, public health director, Santa Barbara County; Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara County; Dan Herlinger, business representative, board chair; Karen Johnson, consumer representative.

Mark P. Lisa, CEO, Tenet Healthcare Central Coast; Daniel Nielson, social services director, Santa Barbara County; Dr. Kurt N. Ransohoff, CEO, Sansum Clinic, physician representative, Santa Barbara County; Richard Roberts, consumer representative; Lynda Tanner, CEO, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.

For more about CenCal Health, visit cencalhealth.org.

— Sheri Mobley for CenCal Health.


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