Ventura, CA – Barry Zimmerman has been selected as the Director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency after a nationwide recruitment. The appointment was made by County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
“Barry is an excellent leader and the right person at the right time for this vital role. He will guide the Health Care Agency’s outstanding leadership team as they usher in a new era of health care,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers. “The speed and scope of the pandemic has posed extraordinary challenges and Barry has been a proven leader during this complex and unprecedented time taking the lead on the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Taskforce. His service to our community and to our County, especially during this time, has been crucial.”
Barry will lead the agency with a focus on strategy, growth, policy, government and community relations, operational and financial improvement, performance improvement and delivery system transformation. Barry will also take the lead on once in a generation projects of clinic integration, an academic partnership initiative and the Santa Paula Harvest Project including the planning and development of an integrated healthcare campus. He will also continue to lead the agency through COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
“As a result of emerging regulatory and market developments, there will be sweeping change in the way health care will be offered and delivered in California, and by the County. This transformation will significantly reshape and impact our nationally recognized health care system to further enhance its focus on whole person care including greater coordination and integration of medical, mental health, alcohol and drug and dental services as well as housing,” added Mike.
“I am honored and excited to be part of the Health Care Agency and to work with such an outstanding and talented team of individuals who are so dedicated in providing the highest quality of care to the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Barry.
Reporting to the County Executive Officer and working closely with the Board of Supervisors and the Ventura County Medical Center Oversight Committee, Barry will be responsible for the planning, implementation, and administration of all policies, programs, and services related to the County of Ventura Health Care Agency. Barry assumes the position following the retirement of Director Bill Foley.
Barry has served as the Chief Deputy Director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency since February 2020. Prior to joining the Health Care Agency, he led the Human Services Agency for 12 years. He helped to implement transformative initiatives related to the Affordable Care Act, the Continuum of Care and the Reform for Child Welfare.
Barry has received recognition for spearheading information technology projects with statewide and national impact, including a risk assessment tool for Adult Protective Services and the first integration of multiple data systems for foster care givers through a mobile application – Foster Health Link. Most recently, he played a key leadership role in creating a 58-county Joint Powers Authority to run one of the State’s largest automation systems. The California Statewide Automated Welfare System will be an integrated eligibility and case management system that will support key public assistance programs which will operate under one system by 2023.
The Health Care Agency is the largest department in the County of Ventura and employs approximately 3,000 people, 1,100 of those in direct patient-care positions. It is a comprehensive health care system which ensures access to quality, cost-effective, culturally sensitive health care for all. The system encompasses the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC), Santa Paula Hospital, Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital, 24 primary care clinics, 11 specialty care clinics, the Public Health Department, Emergency Medical Services, the Behavioral Health Department and the Ventura County health Care Plan. VCMC is also home to the top-rated (by Doximity and U.S. News & World Report) Family Medicine Residency Program in the United States and achieved an “All Cases” meritorious award for surgical care. It is also the West County Level II Trauma Center.