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Director Toby Douglas Toby Douglas, Director of the Department of Health Care Services

Welcome to the website of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).  DHCS is the backbone of California’s health care safety net, helping millions of low-income and disabled Californians each and every day. 

Our vision is to preserve and improve the physical and mental health of all Californians, and our vital departmental mission is to provide Californians with access to affordable, high-quality health care, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term care.

DHCS currently funds health care services for nearly 10 million Medi-Cal members, a number that will approach 10 million with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our success is made possible only through collaboration and cooperation with dozens of organizations.  We work with a wide array of health care providers to supply the human touch for our Medi-Cal members, we communicate and partner with county and federal officials to ensure that those without health coverage have access to vital health services, and we collaborate with many other state agencies and organizations as we invest more than $70 billion for the care of low-income families, children, pregnant women, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

Some of DHCS’ programs are mandated by the federal government, while others are required by state law.  They include California Children’s Services, the Child Health and Disability Prevention program, the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program, the Newborn Hearing Screening Program, the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT) program, and Every Woman Counts.  DHCS also administers programs for underserved Californians, including farm workers and American Indian communities.

DHCS is constantly seeking to improve its services.  For example, to make our services easier to access as well as to become more efficient with precious state resources, we are transitioning many of our members to a more organized system of managed care, where services will be coordinated to serve the whole person with the right care at the right time, all combined to help secure better health outcomes.  With managed care, we are working to ensure that Medi-Cal members have patient-centered, coordinated care and are keenly aware of their choices.

DHCS is also positioning itself to attain maximum benefit from the opportunities of the ACA.  The Governor is leading California toward Medi-Cal expansion and our coverage of a significant number of newly eligible individuals.  They will receive the comprehensive benefits currently provided by Medi-Cal, including medical and dental care, county-administered comprehensive specialty mental health services, county-supported substance use disorder services, and long-term care services.

DHCS is a dynamic department with talented, committed staff.  We work collaboratively to fill a vital role in the ongoing health of Californians.  Going forward, we will continue to use our state’s tax dollars as effectively as possible, finding opportunities to improve Californians’ health and the health care delivery system of our great state.



On January 7, 2011, Governor Brown appointed Toby Douglas as director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).  Home to the state's Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal, DHCS administers programs to support the vital health care needs of nearly 10 million Californians.  DHCS employs 3,400 staff members and manages expenditures of more than $70 billion in public funds.  Douglas had been chief deputy director since 2009 and held leadership positions in the department since 2005.

From 2001 to 2005, Douglas was a senior manager of activities related to health access, policy, and planning at the San Mateo County Health Department.  Before that, Douglas was a research associate at the Urban Institute, a non-partisan, social policy research organization in Washington, D.C., and an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer.

Douglas graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (Cal), with a bachelor’s degree in economics.  He also earned master’s degrees in public health and public policy from Cal.

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Last modified on: 4/7/2014 10:56 AM