An administrator from San Mateo County was hired Tuesday to direct Ventura County’s mental health and substance use programs following a national search.
Scott Gilman, 56, was chosen as director of the county Behavioral Health Department at a salary of $246,573, officials said. He holds the same type of job in San Mateo County, where he oversees behavioral health and recovery services.
Gilman is scheduled to assume his new position Aug. 21. He will oversee a staff of more than 800 employees and a budget of $254 million in the department that treats people with serious mental illness.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors chose Gilman unanimously in concurrence with the county’s interim CEO Sevet Johnson, officials announced after the appointment in a closed session meeting of the board.
Gilman stood out because of his leadership experience in Michigan, Johnson said.
The Midwestern state has already moved in the direction California is headed in terms of consolidating mental health and substance use services, she said in a brief interview Tuesday.
“He’s done a lot of great work,” she said.
Gilman is credited with more than 30 years of experience in health care, from on-the-ground work with patients to serving as CEO of a community health center in Michigan. In San Mateo County, he directs an agency providing outpatient, inpatient, residential, rehabilitative and other services.
The board discussed the appointment of the next county CEO in the same closed session Tuesday and has scheduled a special session in a few weeks to take a deeper look at the candidates.
Johnson directed the local Behavioral Health Department for several years before she was promoted earlier this year to chief deputy of the county Health Care Agency. She was about to start moving into her new job when county supervisors picked her to become interim CEO while they conducted a search for a permanent administrator.
She assumed the top-level post when CEO Mike Powers retired suddenly. He stepped down in early March after an investigation supported an employee’s claims of sexual harassment that he denied.
Johnson declined to say Tuesday whether she had applied for the permanent spot. She said in March that she would not be a candidate but now says she has given the idea much more thought.
If the board asked her to be CEO, she may accept, she said.
Kathleen Wilson covers the Ventura County government, including the county health system, politics and social services. Reach her at [email protected] or 805-437-0271.