Dr. Mitchell Katz, M.D.
Health Agency Director
Dr. Mitch Katz is the Director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency, a newly created agency that combines the Departments of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health into a single entity so as to provide more integrated care and programming within Los Angeles. The Agency has a budget of 7 billion dollars, 28,000 employees, and a large number of community partners.
For the past five years, Dr. Katz served as the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), the second largest public safety net system in the United States. During this time, he created the ambulatory care network and empaneled over 350,000 patients to a primary care home. He eliminated the deficit of DHS through increased revenues and decreased administrative expenses, and used the new ACA funding to pay for a modern electronic health system, ORCHID, which has now been implemented in 90% of DHS clinical sites. He has moved over 1,000 medically complex patients from hospitals and emergency departments into independent housing, thereby eliminating unnecessary expensive hospital care and giving the patients the dignity of their own home. Dr. Katz continues to see patients every week as an outpatient physician at Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center and sees patients on the inpatient medicine service at LAC+USC, Harbor-UCLA, and Olive View-UCLA Medical Centers.
Before he came to Los Angeles, Dr. Katz was the Director and Health Officer of the San Francisco Department of Health for 13 years. He is well known for funding needle exchange, creating Healthy San Francisco, outlawing the sale of tobacco at pharmacies, and winning ballot measures for rebuilding Laguna Honda Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School. He completed an internal medicine residency at UCSF Medical School and was an RWJ Clinical Scholar.
He is the Deputy Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (previously the Institute of Medicine) and the recipient of the Los Angeles County Medical Association 2015 Healthcare Champion of the year.
Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D.
Mental Health Director
Dr. Sherin, a psychiatrist and neurobiologist by trade with a wide range of professional experience, 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.
Most recently Dr. Sherin served as the chief medical officer and executive vice president of military communities for Volunteers of America. Considered a leading authority on the care of veterans struggling with trauma and reintegration challenges, he has testified in Congress on veteran homelessness and suicide. Prior to joining Volunteers of America, he had a distinguished career in the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) where he held various clinical, teaching, research and administrative leadership positions. In his last VA post, he served as chief of mental health for the Miami VA Healthcare System.
An accomplished neurobiology researcher, Dr. Sherin has garnered international recognition for his work discovering a core sleep circuit in mammals that was published in “Science” magazine. He is a recipient of the prestigious Kempf Award from the American Psychiatric Association for his conceptual model of the psychotic process.
Dr. Sherin completed his undergraduate studies in neuroscience at Brown University, his graduate work at the University of Chicago and Harvard, and his postgraduate training at UCLA. He is a volunteer clinical professor as well as a member of the Center on Aging at the University of Miami and a volunteer clinical professor at UCLA.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer
Public Health Director
Barbara Ferrer is a nationally‐known public health leader with over 30 years of professional experience as a philanthropic strategist, public health director, educational leader, researcher, and community advocate. She has a proven track record of working collaboratively to improve population outcomes through efforts that build health and education equity.
Most recently, Dr. Ferrer served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she was responsible for developing the strategic direction for critical program‐related work and providing leadership to the foundation’s key program areas: Education & Learning; Family Economic Security; Food, Health & Well‐Being; Racial Equity; Community Engagement; and Leadership Development.
Prior to working at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Ferrer served as the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, where she led a range of public health programs and built innovative partnerships to address inequities in health outcomes and support healthy communities and healthy families. During her time as Executive Director, Dr. Ferrer secured federal, state, and local funding for critical public health infrastructure and community‐based programs. Under her leadership, the City of Boston saw significant improvements in health outcomes, including a decrease in the rates of childhood obesity, smoking, and infant mortality.
Dr. Ferrer has also served as Director of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention and Director of the Division of the Maternal & Child Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As a headmaster at a district high school in Boston, she led efforts to significantly improve high school graduation rates and ensure that every graduating senior was accepted to college. Dr. Ferrer received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Brandeis University, a Master of Arts in Public Health from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.