MHSOAC Commissioner Bios
Bill Brown, Lompoc
Bill Brown was elected as sheriff and coroner for Santa Barbara County in 2006. He had previously served as chief of police for the city of Lompoc from 1995 to 2007, and chief of police for the city of Moscow, Idaho from 1992 to 1995. He was a police officer, supervisor and manager for the city of Inglewood Police Department from 1980 to 1992, and a police officer for the city of Pacifica from 1977 to 1980. Prior to his law enforcement career, Sheriff Brown served as a paramedic and emergency medical technician in the Los Angeles area from 1974 to 1977. Sheriff Brown holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Delinquency Control Institute. Commissioner Brown fills the county sheriff seat.
Victor Carrion, M.D., Palo Alto
Victor Carrion, M.D., is a Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Director of Stanford's Early Life Stress Research Program. He is a board certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and his sub-specialties include maltreatment, neglect, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Dr. Carrion practices at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. He is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Traumatic Stress. His current research focuses on the relationship between brain development and vulnerability to stress, and developing treatments that include individual and community-based interventions for trauma-exposed children and adolescents. Dr. Carrion is also the recipient of awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Carrion joins the Commission as the Attorney General's designee.
Lou Correa, Santa Ana
Lou Correa was elected to the California State Senate in 2006 and represents the 34th Senate District. He was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2004 and prior to that he served in the California State Assembly. Senator Correa serves on the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders and represents the Orange County Autism Regional Taskforce. He has also served on the Board of the Orange County Community Development Council, the county’s Anti-Poverty Council, the California Small Business Board, the Orange County Boy Scouts, and the Orange County Mental Health Board. Senator Correa represents the Chairperson of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee or another member of the Senate selected by the President pro Tempore of the Senate.
David Gordon, Sacramento
David Gordon has been county superintendent at the Sacramento County Office of Education since 2004. He served at the Elk Grove Unified School District as superintendent from 1995 to 2004. He worked at the California Department of Education as deputy superintendent from 1985 to 1991. He earned a Master of Education degree from Harvard University. Commissioner Gordon holds a seat as superintendent of a school district.
Paul Keith, San Diego
Paul Keith has been medical director of behavioral health at the Wellpoint West Region of Anthem Blue Cross since 2000 and medical director for integrated behavioral health since 1992. Previously, he was medical director of the Behavioral Health Unit at Palomar Medical Center from 2000 to 2009 and associate medical director of the public sector program at United Behavioral Health from 1997 to 1999. He was medical director at Vista San Diego Center and medical director of the child and adolescent program at Alvarado Parkway Institute from 1987 to 1994 and owner and proprietor of Paul R. Keith M.D., A Medical Corporation from 1975 to 2009. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine. Paul Keith fills the seat of a health care services plan or insurer.
Bonnie Lowenthal, Long Beach
Bonnie Lowenthal was elected to the California Assembly in 2008 and represents District 70. She has a background as a licensed family counselor and mental health consultant, having received her Master’s degree from Cal State Long Beach. She is chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee and serves on the Assembly Health Committee. She has made the improvement of mental health services a legislative priority in the Assembly, including authoring AB 739: Mental Health Curriculum, which would require the State Board of Education to as part of health education for grades 7 through 12. Commissioner Lowenthal fills the seat of an Assembly member selected by the Speaker of the Assembly.
LeeAnne Mallel, Calabasas
LeeAnne Mallel has been a psychological technician at the office of Dr. Jonine Biesman and a development floortime specialist in private practice since 2011 (a developmental model creates the relationships and keeps the child’s strengths and weaknesses in mind so that children flourish). She was a behavior interventionist for Verdugo Hills Autism Project from 2009 to 2011. Commissioner Mallel holds a seat as a family member of an child who has or has had a severe mental illness.
Ralph Nelson Jr., M.D., Visalia
Ralph Nelson Jr. was a radiologist and a partner of the Kern Radiology Medical Group from 1974 until his retirement in 1999. He also worked as a radiologist at William Beaumont U.S. Army Medical Center from 1973 to 1974. He previously served as President of NAMI California Board of Directors from 2004 to 2008 and was a member of the California Collaborative Justice Court Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2010. He currently serves as a board member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), is a member of the California State Licensing and Certification Advisory Committee, and is Chair of the Tulare County Mental Health Board. Commissioner Nelson holds a seat as a family member of an adult who has or has had a severe mental illness.
David Pating, M.D., San Francisco
David Pating is the Commission Vice-Chair. He is the Chief of Addiction Medicine and Medical Director of the Chemical Dependency Recovery Program for the San Francisco Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. He also serves as Northern California Regional Chair for Kaiser Permanente’s Addiction Medicine Chiefs and Chemical Dependency Quality Improvement Committees. He has an academic appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He was the President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, a member of California Psychiatric Association, California Medical Association, and California Healthcare Association’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board, and the California Institute of Mental Health Board. Commissioner Pating fills the seat of a physician specializing in alcohol and drug treatment.
Larry Poaster, Ph.D., Modesto
Larry Poaster has served as a private consultant to government agencies in the field of health care delivery by public entities since 2002. He previously served as the Director of Behavioral Health Services for the Stanislaus County Department of Behavioral Health Services from 1980 to 2002 and was the Director of Clinical Services for that department from 1970 to 1980. He was President of the California Conference of Mental Health Directors, twice president of the California Mental Health Directors Association, and president of the Board of Directors of the California Institute of Mental Health. Commissioner Poaster fills the seat of a mental health professional.
Andrew Poat, San Diego
Andrew Poat is the former Vice President, Policy, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. He previously served as Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Transportation, Deputy Cabinet Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson, Undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and Deputy Director of the United States Office of Consumer Affairs. He is a member of the board of directors for LEAD San Diego and the past chair of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. He is also mentor at Monarch High School in San Diego, a member of the Downtown Rotary and a member of the Public Policy Committee for the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Center. Commissioner Poat is a representative of an employer with more than 500 employees.
Richard Van Horn, Los Angeles
Richard Van Horn is the Commission Chair. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mental Health American (MHA) of Los Angeles since 1980 and President Emeritus since his retirement last year. He is a member of the board of the Mental Health Association of California, the California Institute for Mental Health, the California Council Community Mental Health Agencies, and the National Council for Community Behavioral Health (NCCBH). He is a past member of the National Board of Directors of Mental Health America. On behalf of Mental Health America, he has testified before the Congress of the United States regarding issues affecting people with mental illnesses. He also served for six months as principal consultant for the MHSOAC in 2005. Commissioner Van Horn fills the seat of designee of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Tina Wooton, Santa Barbara
Tina Wooton has worked in the mental health system for 17 years, advocating for the employment of consumers and family members at the local, state and federal levels. Since 2009 she has served as the Consumer Empowerment Manager for the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services. From 2005 through 2009 she worked as the Consumer and Family member liaison for the California State Department of Mental Health and was staff to the state Mental Health Services Act Implementation Team. Between 1997 and 2005 she served as Consumer Liaison for the Mental Health Association / County Mental Health of Sacramento and as service coordinator for Human Resources Consultants from 1994 through 1997. Tina is Vice President of AMP (Arts Mentorship Program) for Santa Barbara Dance Arts and a Santa Barbara Elks member. Commissioner Wooton holds the seat of a person with a severe mental illness.