CenCal Health Announces New Medical Director

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Pediatrics Specialist “Dr. Patty” Joins Regional Health Plan

CenCal Health, the publicly-sponsored health plan for Medi-Cal in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, recently welcomed pediatrics specialist Dr. Patricia Auchard to its organization as CenCal Health Medical Director. Reporting to Dr. Takashi Michael Wada, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer at CenCal Health, Auchard will be working on expanded benefits for behavioral health treatment, trauma and developmental screening as well as palliative care for the pediatric population, among other areas of focus.

Patricia Auchard, MD, obtained her bachelor’s degree at Harvard, and went on to complete her medical degree at UCLA. She completed her specialty in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. “Dr. Patty” is deeply involved and committed to health advocacy and education, especially with vulnerable populations. She has previously served on the California Breastfeeding Coalition, both as a member, as well as Chairperson. In addition, she is focused on inter-agency collaboration, especially identifying gaps and removing barriers to care for children 0-21 with special health care needs. Prior to arriving at CenCal Health, she worked as a Medical Director at the Gold Coast Health Plan in Ventura County, and held the position of the Medical Director of Children’s Medical Services and Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health for Ventura County Public Health.

“CenCal Health has given me the opportunity to serve the Santa Barbara community and I am looking forward to learning about the San Luis Obispo community”, said Dr. Auchard. “I am tapping into an area of expertise and great passion here as I am assisting the CenCal Health team to further explore how behavioral health treatment expansion can benefit our members”.

Auchard was born in California and is bilingual and bi-cultural. Dr. Patty is featured in two just-completed, member-focused CenCal Health videos in Spanish and English on HPV vaccine compliance. Her professional special interests include helping children with developmental delay and/or special medical needs, individuals with developmental disabilities, and mental health and wellness.

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 cencalhealth.org

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