California Health and Human Services

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Behavioral Health Task Force


The California Health & Human Services Agency has convened the Behavioral Health Task Force (BHTF) to inform its work on behavioral health issues across the state. The diverse BHTF membership is positioned well to elucidate connections among wide ranging perspectives and interests related to behavioral health needs and care, ground truth the framing of behavioral health issues in the State, and advance innovative and coordinated work to drive progress.

 Behavioral Health Task Force Charter

The Key Goals of the BHTF are:

Goal 1.  Ground truth the State’s behavioral health agenda

Goal 2. Uplift constituency voices

Goal 3. Promote learning to expand collective understanding of behavioral health issues facing the State

Goal 4. Advance approaches that are creative, responsive, and coordinated

For questions, inquiries, or to join the task force listserv, contact

For more information regarding the proposed Behavioral Health Services Act, visit our Behavioral Health Reform website.


  • Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH. Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Dr. Tomas Aragon, Department of Public Health
  • Katherine Lucero, Office of Youth and Community Restoration
  • Michelle Baass, Department of Health Care Services
  • Nancy Bargmann, Department of Developmental Services
  • Jenny Bayardo, Behavioral Health Planning Council
  • Mareva Brown, California State Senate
  • Stephanie Clendenin, Department of State Hospitals
  • Susan DeMarois, Department of Aging
  • Toby Ewing, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission
  • Elizabeth “Liz” Basnett, Emergency Medical Services Authority
  • Brenda Grealish, Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health
  • Kim Johnson, Department of Social Services
  • Genie Kim, University of California Office of the President
  • Elizabeth Landsberg, Department of Health Care Access and Information
  • Meghan Marshall, California Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Dr. Diana Ramos, California Surgeon General
  • Rebecca Ruan-O’Shaughnessy, California Community Colleges
  • Dr. Sohil Sud, CYBHI California Health and Human Services Agency
  • Marjorie Swartz, California State Senate
  • Tony Thurmond, California Department of Education
  • Mary Watanabe, Department of Managed Health Care
  • Virginia Wimmer, California Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Jackie Wong, First 5 California
  • Joe Xavier, Department of Rehabilitation
  • Sonya Aadam, California Black Women’s Health Project
  • Marcy Adelman, California Commission on Aging
  • Alfredo Aguirre, Latino Behavioral Health Coalition
  • Laura Arnold, County of Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office
  • William Arroyo, Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel
  • Charles Bacchi, California Association of Health Plans
  • Kirsten Barlow, California Hospital Association
  • Phebe Bell, Nevada County Behavioral Health Department
  • Grant Boyken, Shatterproof
  • Dannie Ceseña, California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network
  • Le Ondra Clark Harvey, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
  • Theresa Comstock, California Association of Local Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions
  • Steve Dilley, The Veterans Art Project
  • Michelle Doty Cabrera, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • Vitka Eisen, HealthRIGHT 360
  • Ruby Fierro, Trinity County Probation Department
  • Anita Fisher, NAMI California
  • Lisa Fortuna, Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside
  • Lishaun Francis, Children Now
  • Leticia Galyean, Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Avery Hulog-Vicente, California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations
  • Cynthia Jackson-Kelartinian, Heritage Clinic
  • Carmen Katsarov, CalOptima Health
  • Karen Larsen, Steinberg Institute
  • Robb Layne, California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives
  • Kim Lewis, National Health Law Program
  • Michael Lombardo, CalHHS Advisor
  • Stephanie Moon, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Housing for Health
  • Elizabeth Oseguera, California Primary Care Association
  • Justin Peglowsk, Indian Health Services
  • Paul Rains, CommonSpirit Health System
  • Evangelina Ramirez, Promotoras con Alma
  • Allison Rodriguez, CommuniCare Health Centers
  • Albert M. Senella, Tarzana Treatment Centers
  • Miguel Serricchio, Didi Hirsch
  • Christine Stoner-Mertz, California Alliance of Child and Family Services
  • Zofia Trexler, Disability Rights California
  • Gary Tsai, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control
  • Dawan Utecht, Telecare Corporation
  • Carolina Valle, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Shaina Zurlin, Central California Alliance for Health

Meetings and Materials


BHTF 2024 meetings will be hybrid, both in-person and on Zoom  from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

August 28, 2024

November 13, 2024

April 10, 2024: Quarterly Meeting

March 6, 2024: Lunch and Learn

Topic: Access to Behavioral Health Services for Commercial Enrollees

January 17, 2024: Quarterly Meeting

December 15, 2023: Lunch and Learn

Topic: Street Medicine

October 11, 2023: Quarterly Meeting

June 29, 2023: Workshop

Transformation of California’s Behavioral Health System

June 27, 2023: Workshop

Transformation of California’s Behavioral Health System

June 13, 2023: Quarterly Meeting

April 21, 2023: Lunch and Learn

Behavioral Health Bridge Housing and Other Housing Strategies

March 14, 2023: Quarterly Meeting

December 13, 2022

December 2, 2022

September 13, 2022

August 31, 2022

June 14, 2022

May 24, 2022

May 17, 2022

March 8, 2022

December 7, 2021

October 5, 2021

To view a recording of the meeting, visit Zoom and manually enter the following passcode: t19VehZ% 

June 8, 2021

Information Regarding the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

Additional Meeting Materials

March 9, 2021

January 28, 2021

An audio replay of the meeting is available:

  • Number: 866-207-1041
  • Access code: 5789033

August 25, 2020

March 4, 2020