Mark A. Refowitz, who has been the acting head of Orange County’s $650-million Health Care Agency, was given the permanent job this week, according to a county news release.

Refowitz, 60, who previously led the county’s Department of Behavioral Health Services, took over as interim HCA director after David Riley’s retirement in December.

In addition to running the 2,400-employee agency, Refowitz is the acting board chairman of CalOptima, the $1.4-billion county health plan for about 400,000 poor and elderly residents.

As director of behavioral health, a job he held from 2004 until taking over for Riley, Refowitz was responsible for county mental health services and drug and alcohol programs.

Before coming to Orange County, Refowitz was San Diego County director of mental health services. Earlier in his career he was the assistant commissioner for managed care for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and held management positions “with several other health organizations,” according to the news release.

He is a former president of the governing board of the California Mental Health Directors Association and has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut


Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.