ORANGE COUNTY: Health Care Agency Director Resigns
The director of Orange County's Health Care Agency, Donald Oxley, resigned last week after only serving for half a year, the Los Angeles Times reports. His resignation, effective August 6, drew fire from County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who called the move disappointing and "unprofessional." He added, "I never sensed from Mr. Oxley in the beginning that he was truly excited about leading a major department in Orange County." Spitzer called for more involvement of county supervisors in the hiring of department heads. County CEO Jan Mittermeier currently holds that responsibility. Noting that the agency had previously been without a director for two years until Oxley was hired, Spitzer said, "I feel the board needs to be more involved in the selection process. This needs to be done in public to ask questions and see the applicants' responses or else we can never expect to get candid answers." Mittermeier had originally hired Oxley to "bring stability to a large department rocked by criticism due to the loss of key staff members," the Times notes. A statement released by Mittermeier said, "We're sorry to see Don leave but we are grateful for the many positive changes he has initiated during his brief tenure with Orange County." The agency's assistant director, Julie Poulson, will serve as interim director until a permanent decision is made. Oxley has accepted a "health care position with Los Angeles County" (Reyes, 7/24).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.