County of HumboldtEureka 95501
Full Time
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Behavioral Health Medical Director

County of Humboldt
Full Time Humboldt County Department of Human & Health Services, 507 F St, Eureka, CA 95501, United States


BEHAVIORAL HEALTH MEDICAL DIRECTOR (M&C)Department of Health & Human ServicesAre you interested in making a difference? If so, please consider joining our dedicated team at the Department of Health & Human Services! This position has significant responsibility over in-patient and out-patient Mental Health and SUD programs. There is a strong need to be able to partner and build effective working relationships with other providers, stakeholders, system partners, community and staff. The Behavioral Health Branch in Humboldt County is part of an integrated model under the Department of Health and Human Services. There is significant work being done towards culture change, and the cultivation of a work environment that is diverse, inclusive and equitable. 

What You'll Do: 

This position is responsible for a variety of duties, including;
  • Oversee medical and psychiatric components of Behavioral Health programs and services including SUD.
  • Acts as Medical Director for the County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.
  • Provides clinical and administrative supervision over the work of County medical, psychiatric, clinical staff assigned, and contracted medical providers as well as midlevel practitioners or as preceptor as needed.
  • Develops and conducts training for in-patient and out-patient behavioral health staff, nurses, doctors and community partners.
  • Partners with local medical providers and organizations on shared clients, and to address program, community or system issues. 
Where You'll Do It:
This position is located in Eureka, California.

A typical work schedule for this position is M-F 8-5

Under administrative direction, oversees, manages, and directs the planning and execution of the medical and psychiatric components of programs and services in the Behavioral Health Branch within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS);  serves as the County’s designated Chief Psychiatrist; develops medical and psychiatric protocols and standards of care for all behavioral health services including Substance Use Disorder (SUD) programs and services, and the County’s inpatient Psychiatric Hospital Facility , and out-patient facilities including the   crisis stabilization unit; and performs related duties as assigned.  

SUPERVISION RECEIVED AND EXERCISED Receives administrative direction from the Behavioral Health Branch Director.   Exercises clinical and/or direct supervision over medical and clinical staff, and administrative staff, either directly or through subordinate levels of supervision.  

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS This is a management classification responsible for managing and directing the County’s behavioral health medical and psychiatric programs and services, including clinical and administrative oversight of medical, psychiatric, clinical and administrative staff.  Incumbents are responsible for performing diverse, specialized and complex work involving significant accountability and decision-making responsibilities, which include developing and implementing behavioral health medical and psychiatric policies, procedures, protocols and standards and evaluating their effectiveness in meeting the needs of the community.  Incumbents serve as a professional-level resource for organizational, managerial, and operational analyses and studies.   Performance of the work requires the use of considerable independence, initiative, and discretion within broad guidelines and professional regulations.  This class is distinguished from the Behavioral Health Branch Director, in that the latter has overall management and administrative responsibility for all branch services and operations, and for interpreting public policy as it relates to the Department’s policies and practices.


Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignment of different positions.

  • Serves as the designated Chief Psychiatrist for the County, and acts as a medical and psychiatric consultant; provides clinical and administrative supervision over the work of County medical, psychiatric, clinical and administrative staff assigned to behavioral health medical and psychiatric service programs, as well as contracted medical doctors and other professionals; ensures appropriate credentialing for all medical staff.
  • Serves as the designated Medical Director for all County operated Substance Use Disorder programs and is responsible for and oversees all treatment of client’s within those programs in accordance with title 22 regulations. 
  • Develops and conducts training for in-patient and out-patient behavioral health staff, nurses, doctors and community partners.
  • Acts as Medical Director for the County’s Psychiatric Health Facility; oversees medical and psychiatric staff that prepares admission and discharge evaluations; conducts daily clinical rounds; works in collaboration with an interdisciplinary treatment team to develop patient treatment plans and to conduct discharge planning.
  • Ensures that patient cases are handled in conformance to the industry’s standard of care, court and law enforcement regulations and applicable laws, ethical guidelines and regulations affecting behavioral health patients, and their beneficiaries; provides advocacy for patients; follows up on grievances or complaints.
  • Directs the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies and procedures related to management of the County’s behavioral health medical and psychiatric programs and services; maintains, reviews and updates medical staff by-laws; monitors quality assurance and utilization review policies and practices; completes monthly statistics or other data reports.
  • Develops and expands behavioral health medical and psychiatric programs as needed; reviews and makes recommendations on program expenditures and revenue generation to ensure programs’ fiscal solvency.
  • Provides direct clinical care and medical and psychiatric oversight to other programs or services such as the County jail, Community Corrections Resource Center, adult and children’s services and other populations within the community; acts in consultation with the courts and law enforcement departments; acts as psychiatric liaison to local medical community and hospitals.
  • Prepares detailed documentation of patient evaluations, prognosis, and treatment including progress notes, treatment outcomes, and prescriptions; reviews and signs medical records; prepares and/or signs behavioral competency or conservatorship evaluations; appears in court as an expert psychiatric witness in court hearings, including testimony for extensions of involuntary detention at the Psychiatric Health Facility, conservatorships, behavioral competency and similar hearings. 
  • Prepares for, participates in, and gives direction regarding state and federal audits to ensure compliance of medical and psychiatric services.
  • Partners with local medical providers and organizations on shared patients, pertinent medical and psychiatric topics and to address program, community or system issues.
  • Serves on committees regarding credentialing, infection control, morbidity and mortality review, utilization review, continuous quality improvement, and other areas defined in the medical staff by-laws.
  • Ensures adequate psychiatric coverage for programs by overseeing staff scheduling, recruitment, hiring, coaching, orientation and training. 
  • Promptly investigates complaints or concerns regarding physician services, works with appropriate staff in the Department and County in completing investigations and developing appropriate recommendations to resolve complaints. 
  • Works with graduate and/or medical school representatives to obtain graduate and/or psychiatric residents and rotations through the Department. 
  • Coordinates, reviews and decides final action on patient complaints related to physician performance issues. 
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge and ability required. 

Knowledge of:

  • Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting; program development, implementation, and evaluation; and clinical or administrative supervision of staff, either directly or through subordinate levels of supervision.
  • Organizational and management practices as applied to the development, analysis, and evaluation of behavioral health medical and psychiatric programs, policies, and operational needs.
  • Leadership principles and practices. 
  • Principles and practices of psychiatric medicine, including prognostication and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
  • Principles and techniques of patient counseling and therapies.
  • Methods and techniques of developing and delivering staff in-service training.
  • Principles and techniques of narcotic and other drug administration and their effects.
  • Principles and practices of preventive psychology in the context of the socio-economic, emotional and physical environment.
  • Principles and practices of trauma informed care.
  • Principles of quality assurance and utilization review.
  • Principles of budgetary administration and fiscal control.
  • Community medical and social agencies and resources.
  • Applicable federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations pertinent to the delivery of medical and psychiatric services within behavioral health programs.
  • Principles and practices of employee supervision, including work planning, assignment, review and evaluation, and the training of staff in work procedures.
  • Principles and practices of integrated service delivery.
  • Community socioeconomic and cultural demographics.
  • Principles and practices of developing and implementing strong partnerships with community organizations and public and private organizations for effective service delivery.
  • Principles and techniques for working with groups and fostering effective team interaction to ensure teamwork is conducted smoothly.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and County staff.
  • The structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Modern equipment and communication tools used for business functions and program, project, and task coordination, including computers and software programs relevant to work performed.

Ability to:

  • Assist in developing and implementing goals, objectives, practices, policies, procedures, and work standards for the County’s behavioral health medical and psychiatric programs and services.
  • Provide administrative, management, and professional leadership.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of staff, delegate authority and responsibility.
  • Select and supervise staff, provide training and development opportunities, ensure work is performed effectively, and evaluate performance in an objective and positive manner.
  • Conduct medical and psychiatric assessments of patients; and develop, implement and follow up on treatment plans.
  • Make appropriate referrals or recommendations for hospitalization.
  • Supervise and/or perform patient diagnosis, treatment, examinations, tests, specified laboratory procedures and medication management.
  • Apply teaching principles and provide patient and staff education, counseling and consultation.
  • Monitor quality assurance utilization review practices.
  • Develop and implement innovative and traditional therapy plans.
  • Prepare and maintain detailed and accurate documentation and records of patient treatment and progress.
  • Understand, interpret, and apply all pertinent laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures, and standards relevant to the assigned area of responsibility.
  • Effectively represent the Branch in meetings with governmental agencies; community groups; various business, professional, and regulatory organizations; and in meetings with individuals.
  • Independently organize work, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, and follow-up on assignments.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.
  • Effectively use computer systems, software applications relevant to work performed, and modern business equipment to perform a variety of work tasks.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar and syntax.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

Equivalent to graduation from an American Medical Association certified school of medicine or osteopathy in good standing, and successful completion of an approved psychiatric or neuropsychiatric residency


Five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience administering, supervising or providing direct medical and psychiatric care in a behavioral health setting, (2) years of which should be in a management capacity, preferably in a public agency.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Must possess a valid US driver’s license upon date of application. Must obtain California driver’s license following hire date per California DMV regulations.
  • Must possess a valid license to practice medicine in the State of California and certification as a Psychiatrist issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. Initial acceptance may be based on licensure as a physician in another state; licensure as a physician in California is required prior to appointment.