ORANGE COUNTY: Acting Director Of Health Care Agency To Step Down
The acting director of Orange County's Health Care Agency has become the "latest defector" from a department plagued by recent high-level departures. The Los Angeles Times reported that Ronald DiLuigi's six-month stint with the agency will end Oct. 2, when he leaves "to take an executive job at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange." DiLuigi's decision "surprised" county officials, including Supervisor William Steiner, who said, "This is definitely going to be a period of change at the Health Care Agency." The Times reports that "[t]he agency has come under fire on several fronts," including allegations that county psychiatrists "jeopardized the health of abused and neglected children" by prescribing drugs without providing the appropriate paperwork to justify the intervention. Steiner noted that the county could look to "an outsider" to bring a different experience to the agency. He said, "[W]e could definitely see someone from outside county government coming in and taking a new look at this agency." Orange County Medical Association spokesperson Sam Roth added that the opportunity to hire a new director could "give the county an opportunity to address the new realities of health care in the 1990s." He noted that the Health Care Agency has not kept pace with recent changes in the health care industry (Gottlieb, 9/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.