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CenCal Health Announces Three Appointments to Board of Directors

Feb 19, 2019

County Supervisor, Health Agency Director, and CEO join CenCal Health, the publicly-sponsored health plan for Medi-Cal in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, welcomes three members to its Board of Directors for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. The recently appointed Directors are San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold, San Luis Obispo County’s Health Agency Director Michael Hill, and Ron Werft, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cottage Health.

Ron Werft previously served on the CenCal Health Board for eight years during two terms. “I am very happy to again serve with others,” said Werft. “CenCal plays a critical role not only in assuring access to health care services for thousands of people in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties but in connecting patients to primary care physicians and essential preventative services.”

Werft is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and holds a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. Last year, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics honored Werft as their HealthCare Hero for his commitment to the well-being of local residents. He has also earned the California Hospital Association Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to the California healthcare community, and the 2015 Walker-Sullivan Fellowship presented by California Health Foundation & Trust. Cottage Health is a not-for-profit organization that provides acute inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care, with hospitals in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley.

New to the Board is Richard “Michael” Hill, who is San Luis Obispo County’s Health Agency Director. He supervises three department heads at the agency, which has more than 550 employees and a budget of more than $100 million. Services include Health Administration, Public Health, Behavioral Health, Animal Services and Office of the Public Guardian. “My mission is to improve the health of everybody in my county, and CenCal Health is a very important part of serving the health needs of many of our residents,” Hill said.

Michael Hill has a master’s degree in Public Health and Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Hill also is board certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Public Health Administrator.

San Luis Obispo County’s Fifth District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold is CenCal Health’s newest Board Member. Prior to her election as Supervisor, Arnold worked as a Legislative Aide at the County Supervisors office and as a San Luis Obispo District Representative for the State Senate. The Cal Poly alumna says her priority as Supervisor is making the Central Coast a place where families can not only live, but thrive.

Debbie Arnold, who replaces Supervisor Adam Hill on the Board, owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for more than 17 years. She and her family are members of the local agricultural community. She considers herself an advocate of public access to information about proposed policies that will impact local residents in her county.

Thirteen members, who are appointed by the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county boards of supervisors, make up CenCal Health’s Board of Directors. The Board is composed of local government representatives, physicians, hospital representatives, member representatives, other health care provider representatives, and business representatives. Currently serving on the CenCal Health Board of Directors:

Supervisor Debbie Arnold, San Luis Obispo County

René Bravo, MD, Physician Representative, San Luis Obispo County

Van Do-Reynoso, MPH, PhD, Public Health Director, Santa Barbara County

Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara County

Dan Herlinger, Business Representative, Board Chair

Richard “Michael” Hill, Health Agency Director, San Luis Obispo County

Karen Johnson, Consumer Representative

Mark P. Lisa, FACHE, CEO, Tenet Healthcare Central Coast

Daniel Nielson, Social Services Director, Santa Barbara County

Kurt N. Ransohoff, MD, CEO, Sansum Clinic, Physician Representative, Santa Barbara County

Richard Roberts, Consumer Representative

Lynda Tanner, CEO, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care

Ron Werft, MD, President, CEO Cottage Health

About CenCal Health

Serving the community since 1983, CenCal Health provides comprehensive health coverage to nearly 180,000 men, women and children enrolled in Medi-Cal. This regional health plan partners with over 1,500 local physicians and other providers to deliver quality patient care to approximately 1 in 4 residents of Santa Barbara County and 1 in 5 residents of San Luis Obispo County. CenCal Health also collaborates with community-based organizations to address social determinants of health while increasing members’ access to medical care and reducing costs. The oldest Medicaid managed care plan of its kind, CenCal Health is a local public agency that employs close to 250 people at offices in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. For more information, visit

CenCal Health Contact:
Nicolette Worley Marselian (805) 685-9525 ext,1993

Media Contact:
Sheri Mobley (805) 845-5627, (213) 509-9816