Behavioral Health Medical Director

  • Sonoma County, CA
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Dec 17, 2023
Full Time Administration and Management Public Health
  • Salary: $272,682.23 - $331,434.66 Annually USD

Job Description

Position Information

Guiding Mental Wellness, Leading Positive Change: Join the County of Sonoma as the next Behavioral Health Medical Director.

Starting salary up to $331,434/annually,
and a comprehensive benefits package, PLUS a $25,000 Signing Bonus^

The Benefits of County Employment
Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • Hybrid Telework - A schedule that meets the needs of our staff, department operations, and the communities we serve may be available depending on the assignment
  • Salary Advancement - A salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Paid Time Off - Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County Paid Health Premium Contributions - 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • Staff Development/Wellness Pay - Annual benefit allowances of up to $2,000 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Post-Retirement Health Reimbursement Arrangement - County contributions to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement - A pension fully integrated with Social Security
  • Paid Parental Leave - May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) after 12 months of County employment

^Hiring Incentives

The Department of Health Services is currently offering a $25,000 signing bonus paid over three installments during the first two years of service.

Other incentives which may be offered, if applicable, include:
  • Advanced paid vacation and/or sick leave (up to 24 hours per leave type)
  • Relocation reimbursement up to $10,000

The Behavioral Health Medical Director Position

As the Behavioral Health Medical Director, you will play a key role in determining the strategic direction of the Behavioral Health Division, including the type and quality of clinical services, service philosophy, system design, and financial planning. You will provide leadership in the Division’s primary care and behavioral health integration initiatives by directing, planning, organizing, and managing the medical services component of the Division. Further, you will be responsible for hiring and supervising psychiatric providers and overseeing the compliance of behavioral health medical providers and services with applicable community standards of care, state and federal laws, and other regulatory requirements.

The Medical Director is expected to work Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm, with the possibility of some after-hours phone consultation. Additionally, the Medical Director spends some portion of most weeks in the Crisis Stabilization Unit supporting the staff and psychiatrists there, as well as in the adult and youth medication support programs.

As the ideal candidate for this position, you will bring:

  • Significant experience and understanding of working in a community-based setting with youth and families; transitional aged youth, adults, and older adults; and a culturally diverse population with serious to severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles of trauma-informed care and mental health recovery
  • Demonstrated experience as a leader and administrator, including managing personnel/performance issues, hiring staff, and creating organizational procedures and workflows
  • Previous experience working with community partners, advocacy groups, community-based non-profit organizations, and/or health plan organizations
  • Skill in the use of electronic health records (EHR) and ability to help support the medical staff with the proper use of EHR
  • A collaborative work style, excellent listening skills, and the ability to effectively and positively communicate with staff at all levels, clients, and families
  • Flexibility and willingness to quickly shift focus to attend to critical needs, such as consulting with staff who have a client in crisis or have an urgent need for a medication refill
  • A passion for working with individuals with serious to severe mental illness, and a belief that they are the experts in their treatment and can recover
  • Competency in effectively utilizing leadership skills using a strengths-based style to address difficult employee issues
  • Dual board certification in adult and child psychiatry and/or experience with forensic psychiatry
  • Completed coursework/continuing education in Addiction Medicine
  • Bilingual English/Spanish skills are highly desired, but not required
The Behavioral Health Division

The mission of the Behavioral Health Division is to promote the recovery and wellness of Sonoma County residents by providing high-quality, culturally responsive services in all languages. The Division accomplishes this mission by embracing a recovery philosophy focused on building and strengthening the capabilities of people with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders, to achieve their full potential and live meaningful lives in the community of their choosing. The building blocks of this philosophy include an emphasis on self-direction, individualized and person-centered care, empowerment and shared decision-making techniques, and a holistic approach that encompasses mind, body, spirit, and community.

The Division is responsible for providing mental health and substance use disorder services across the service spectrum: prevention, early intervention, treatment, and aftercare and recovery. Services are provided departmentally and through partnerships with community- based agencies. Through partnering with clients, family members, and the community, and focusing on respect, responsibility, and hope, the Behavioral Health Division fosters a collaborative approach to wellness.

The Behavioral Health Division is also responsible for directly administering specialty mental health treatment services to County residents whose mental health needs are determined to be medically necessary, as defined by the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 9 and Welfare & Institutions (W&I) Code 5600.

For additional information about the Behavioral Health Division, please visit their website .

Sonoma County
The County of Sonoma offers a rare and compelling array of scenic, recreational, and geographic characteristics that include over 200 award-winning wineries, majestic redwoods, inspiring coastlines and beaches, and the vibrant Russian River. Encompassing over one million acres of land and water, rich with agriculture, parks, campsites, lakes, and open spaces, the County is home to over 500,000 residents and offers a wide variety of art and music festivals, farmers' markets, and concert venues. Local schools continually rank high on California's Academic Performance Index, and the Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University offer higher education opportunities.

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better the County's communities. Please visit for more information about Sonoma County as a place to live, work, and build your career legacy.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Salary Resolution (SalRes) and our Employee Benefits Directory .


Minimum Qualifications

Any combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Education: Graduation from an approved medical school and satisfactory completion of a three year psychiatric residency approved by the American Medical Association or the American Osteopathic Association.

Experience: Five years of experience in clinical psychiatry, or community behavioral health services, of which three years experience is in a highly responsible administrative, teaching, or supervisory capacity. Public sector experience is desired.

Special Requirement: Possession of a valid license as a physician and surgeon issued by the State of California and a valid certificate in psychiatry issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or written evidence of successful completion of a psychiatry residency.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of: current practices in behavioral health including the Recovery Model, strength-based treatment, consumer/family-oriented services, and integration of primary care and behavioral health systems; principles and practices of general and preventive psychiatry; principles and practices in the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral health and substance use disorders, including evidence-based practices in the behavioral health field; psychiatric medications and their interaction with other prescription drugs; general medicine and its relationship to mental illness and substance use disorders; research methods and practices in the behavioral health field; current practices in the field of quality assurance and quality improvement.

Considerable knowledge of: current laws, standards, and regulations that govern the provision of behavioral health services in the public sector, especially in California; the legal environment affecting psychiatric practice; principles and practices of clinical supervision and training; program planning and development principles; and general budgeting, monitoring, and cost accountability.

Knowledge of: community behavioral health program goals and limitations; community organizations as related to behavioral health and medical services; modern management principles and practices; organizational dynamics, conflict resolution, and behavior and performance management; and public administration practices related to personnel management.

Ability to: plan, direct, coordinate, and evaluate behavioral health services; determine clinical and medical needs of community behavioral health programs; formulate, implement, and evaluate treatment methods and procedures; practice psychiatry in a community behavioral health delivery system; refer to local and regional providers of social, medical, and/or other specialized services; maintain currency in and apply knowledge of treatment modalities, medications, and laws governing psychiatric practice; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Health Services Division Director, the division's section managers, program managers, and staff, other County managers, community groups, other public agencies, medical professionals, behavioral health consumer and family advocacy groups, and the general public; provide clinical leadership and consultation to division staff and the staff of contracted organizations and partnering agencies; prepare clear and comprehensive reports; determine and evaluate levels of achievement and performance; secure cooperation and teamwork among professional and/or support staff; plan and conduct effective in-service training programs; maintain confidentiality of information; understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures; collect and analyze data to establish/identify needs and evaluate program effectiveness; develop goals and objectives; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application and should be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.

Please visit Getting-a-Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the hiring process, including the application process, examination steps, and department selection process.

Responses to supplemental questions will be used in assessing minimum qualifications. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses which state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient.

The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:

An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (Weight 100%). Each application and supplemental questionnaire will be thoroughly evaluated for satisfaction of minimum qualifications and relevance of educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities that relate to this position. Candidates possessing the most appropriate job-related qualifications will be placed on an employment list and referred to the department for selection interviews.


A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer are contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


Applications are accepted online at . Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Continuous recruitments may close without notice at any time that a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The County of Sonoma values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.

HR Analyst: BH
HR Technician: RR

IMPORTANT NOTE: Benefits described herein do not apply to Extra Help positions.


These are some of the excellent benefits the County offers:

Paid Time Off :Competitive vacation accrual and sick leave accruals; additional management leave annually; 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year; and may be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment.

Health Plan :Choice of five health plans (a PPO, EPO, HMO, and two deductible HMOs) with a County paid premium contribution.

Retirement :Fully integrated with Social Security.For more information regarding eligibility, retirement contributions, and reciprocity with prior public service, please visit .

IRS 457 Plan :Pre-tax employee contribution up to the IRS annual maximum.

Retiree Medical :County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits.

Plus excellent dental, vision, disability, life insurance, professional development, and more.

For answers to specific questions regarding the employment process and more details about benefits or retirement, please contact Human Resources at (707) 565-2331.Additional details about benefit and compensation packages can be found in the MOUs located at . For specific information about health and welfare benefits including plan options, coverage, and premium amounts go to or, contact the Human Resources' Risk Management-Benefits Office at or (707) 565-2900.

*IMPORTANT NOTES: Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Base Pay


Job Address

Santa Rosa, California United States View Map