Health Services Leadership
Director of Health Services, Tina Rivera
Tina Rivera, a veteran government official and nonprofit leader with more than 25 years of experience delivering health care and social services to the public, joined the Department of Health Services in January 2020 as Assistant Director and concurrently served as Assistant Director of the Community Development Commission, the county’s lead agency for housing and homeless programs. She was promoted to Interim Director of Health Services in May 2021 and confirmed as Director of Health Services on March 1, 2022. From 2018 to 2020, Rivera served as Administrative Services Director for the county’s Department of Human Services, overseeing its Finance and Operations Unit.
Before joining the county in 2018, she served as Northwest Region Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Services Director for the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. She also served as Federal Grants Administrator for the City of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Executive Director at Compassion Center, a Shreveport nonprofit, where she developed and implemented programs to provide housing and Behavioral Health services for vulnerable populations.
Rivera has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwestern State University and studied finance at Louisiana State University.
Assistant Director, Roy Dajalos
Roy Dajalos accepted the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Assistant Director position effective August 23, 2022. Prior to that, Roy was the Interim Assistant Director for the department since May 2022. In the Assistant Director role, he works closely with the Director to assist with planning, organization, and oversight of department-wide operations.
Roy’s primary focus is to provide guidance and stability to the dedicated following teams: Fiscal team, Contracts and Board Items unit, Information Technology unit, as well as overseeing the Administrative Program Support for the Behavioral Health Division.
Roy joins DHS from Sonoma County Human Services Department (HSD), where he recently served as the Director of Finance, Chief Financial Officer. Roy joined Sonoma County government in May 2017 and served as the Administrative Services Officer for Budgeting & Financial Reporting in the Human Services Department. He subsequently served as Comptroller prior to his promotion to HSD Finance Director. Prior to his public sector work in Sonoma, Roy worked in Financial Management positions in the private sector, most notably at the Fortune 500 public corporation MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas. Roy earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, with a concentration in Transitional Economics, at the George Washington University, and then he obtained an MBA in Finance from the Lee Business School at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Assistant Director, Wendy Sanders
Wendy Sanders accepted the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Assistant Director position effective August 23, 2022. Prior to that, Wendy was the Interim Assistant Director for the department since May 17, 2022. In this Assistant Director role, Wendy works closely with the Director to assist with planning, organization, and oversight of department-wide operations.
Wendy’s primary focus is to provide guidance and stability to the following dedicated teams: Facilities, Health Data and Epidemiology, Human Resources, Privacy and Security, and overseeing the administrative program support for the Public Health Division.
Wendy has over 20 years of experience and expertise in health care management in a variety of settings, including outpatient, inpatient, and detention settings. She has worked in both the public and private sectors, in non-profit organizations, and in County government. Wendy also has over 10 years of experience in Human Services/Child Welfare administrative management positions. She has an excellent track record at managing quality improvement initiatives; especially initiatives that improve beneficiary outcomes, while reducing unnecessary costs. Her strengths lie in the planning, organization, and oversight of operations and services.
For the past 16 years, Wendy has worked for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services in two different roles - the Departmental Compliance Officer and the Behavioral Health Division Quality Improvement Manager. Her focus has been on program development and implementation, improvement of operations and beneficiary outcomes, and risk mitigation. Wendy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in social work, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and is certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC).
Public Health Division Director, Gabriel Kaplan, PhD
Gabriel Kaplan, PhD, has been serving as the department’s Public Health Division Director since March 22, 2022. Dr. Kaplan has a wealth of experience in the Public Health field.
Gabriel leads day-to-day operations at the Public Health Division, including directing, organizing, and coordinating activities, programs, and functions of the division. He also provides oversight for the development of the division budget, required reports, financial plans, and statistical analysis, reviews and analyzes legislation, determines effects on divisional procedures and operations, evaluates and supervises division staff, directly or through subordinate managers, and serves as the lead for the Public Health division’s management team.
Prior to joining the County, Dr. Kaplan had worked for over 12 years as the Director of the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch in the Prevention Services Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). In this role, he directed and managed work units that seek to improve policies around health promotion and prevention, to transform the delivery of care within health systems, and improve the linkages between community-based prevention and the Clinical Care System. Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Epidemiology, Planning & Evaluation Branch in the same division at CDPHE, where he directed the data analysis and research units that support public health prevention services and interventions. Before joining CDPHE, Dr. Kaplan served as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Colorado, Denver's School of Public Affairs. He also served as an adjunct assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. He has been a board member of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and served as President from March 2018 - September 2019. Dr. Kaplan has a PhD in Public Policy Analysis and Research from Harvard's JFK School of Government and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Behavioral Health Division Director, Jan Cobaleda-Kegler, PhD
Dr. Jan Cobaleda-Kegler has been serving as the Department’s Behavioral Health Division Director since May 24, 2022. Dr. Cobaleda-Kegler brings a wealth of experience in the field of Behavioral Health with forty-six years of experience working in Behavioral Health treatment as an administrator, clinical supervisor, and provider committed to developing and providing services that are accessible, supportive, effective, and compassionate.
Jan leads day-to-day operations of the Behavioral Health Division, which includes prioritization and coordination of its mandates, goals, and objectives. She is responsible for reviewing and evaluating programs, in order to prioritize resources based on the greatest need, return on investment, and anticipated future needs, in adherence with all fiscal and legal responsibilities, as well as federal and state mandates. As the Behavioral Health Division Director, she is responsible for championing and fostering community partnerships, and actively engages in legislative affairs. Dr. Cobaleda-Kegler is responsible for identifying Behavioral Health related service gaps across local communities and serves as an advocate for the changes needed to address inequities.
Prior to joining the Department of Health Services, Dr. Cobaleda-Kegler served as Mental Health Program Chief for Contra Costa County Adult and Older Adult Behavioral Health Services, where she dedicated herself to promoting the recovery and wellness of vulnerable adults and their families, and to implement numerous system improvements, in an effort to improve the quality of care provided to clients. Prior to serving as Program Chief, Dr. Cobaleda-Kegler served as Program Manager in Contra Costa Children’s System of Care, where she distinguished herself by developing and implementing training for staff across the division in evidence-based practices in the treatment of trauma, depression, co-occurring disorders, eating disorders, animal assisted therapy, and anxiety.
Dr. Cobaleda-Kegler completed her Doctor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA.
Homelessness Services Division Director, Dave Kiff
Dave Kiff, a veteran government official with more than 30 years of experience in state and local government, including most recently serving as interim Executive Director of Sonoma County Community Development Commission, has been named Director of the county’s new Homelessness Services Division within the Department of Health Services. Kiff started his new position on January 10, 2023.
Dave brings to this position strong collaboration skills and is equipped with a fresh perspective about homeless services and the Continuum of Care system within Sonoma County. He is a respected leader within the community.
The Continuum of Care (CoC) is Sonoma County’s collaborative effort to address homelessness in the region. Governed by a 17-member board, the CoC is responsible for oversight of funds designated to the Continuum of Care and planning/policy development for addressing homelessness.
The county’s newly created Homelessness Services Division consists of the Homeless Encampment Assistance and Resource Team (HEART) and HOMEKEY Cohort, the Ending Homelessness Team, and the Interdepartmental Multi-Disciplinary Team (IMDT).
Kiff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento and a Master of Government Administration Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Interim Health Director, Dr. Kismet Baldwin-Santana
Dr. Kismet Baldwin-Santana will provide Health Officer coverage beginning April 8, 2023, and officially assumed the position of Interim Health Officer for the County of Sonoma on April 18, 2023, appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
The Sonoma County Health Officer is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and supervised by the Director of Health Services. The County Health Officer provides leadership for the protection of public health, enforcement of public health regulations, and serves as an advisor to elected and appointed officials, members of the medical profession, and the public on matters affecting health and safety.
Since July 10, 2020, Dr. Baldwin-Santana has held the position of Deputy Public Health Officer in Sonoma County. She has supported and shared responsibility with the Health Officer in the protection of County residents from public health hazards, including leading the medical response team to urgent threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as identifying and addressing key public health priorities. Dr. Baldwin-Santana serves to provide medical expertise and management for program units including Disease Control & Surveillance, the Public Health Lab, Public Health Preparedness, Special Clinical Services, and the Office of Vital Statistics.
Dr. Baldwin-Santana served as San Joaquin County’s Health Officer from 2018-2019. While in that position, she worked with a team to develop long-range public health policy goals, objectives, and strategies for the health department, as well as for individual programs such as tuberculosis, STI/HIV, and communicable disease programs, with epidemiologic investigations providing a common source of insight into a wide range of potential public health concerns. Dr. Baldwin-Santana also served as Quarantine Medical Officer for San Francisco airport, providing clinical and epidemiological guidance in response to reports of illness in travelers and crew members.
Dr. Baldwin-Santana grew up in Ohio and attended Ohio State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Doctor of Medicine. She is currently working on completing her Master of Public Health degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Baldwin-Santana will assume responsibility as the Interim Sonoma County Health Officer of the Department of Health Services and continue overseeing her current unit while we recruit for a permanent Health Officer.
Chief Financial Officer, Kelley Ritter
Kelley Ritter accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Department of Health Services (DHS), effective December 27, 2022. She leads the Finance unit as CFO, overseeing both the Accounting and Budgeting teams, totaling 38 staff members. She previously was the Deputy Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Department of Health Services.
Kelley brings a wealth of experience from both County and DHS roles that she held over the past 22+ years. For example, she held both the Departmental Accounting Manager and Deputy CFO positions for the last five years before serving as the Interim CFO, immediately prior to her CFO promotion. Preceding these senior Finance management roles, Kelley worked her way up from Account Clerk II in 2000 to Account Clerk III in 2005, to Accounting Technician in 2007. She then advanced through the Accountant series until she was promoted to Supervising Accountant in 2017. Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Compliance Officer, Jennifer Pimentel
Jennifer Pimentel was hired as the Department of Health Services’ Compliance Officer, effective November 29, 2022. Jennifer is a Registered Addiction Counselor, Certified in Healthcare Compliance and Healthcare Privacy.
Jennifer joined DHS in 2005 and managed the DHS billing and claiming unit from 2015-2021, where she had supervisory responsibilities of 14 staff and implemented standardized policies, procedures, and processes to ensure fiscal compliance with our government-funded programs. Jennifer spearheaded efforts to reinstate the Medicare and Insurance billing for the Behavioral Health Mental Health programs. She was instrumental in leading the Behavioral Health Electronic Record implementation of Avatar since 2013, and in maintaining a 1-2% Medi-Cal Claims denial rate for the department. Jennifer also led and managed the Telehealth Medicare/Medi-Cal billing during the Public Health Emergency, bringing the county costs report current, finalized FY13/14-FY18/19 Cost Settlements, and developed a robust Revenue Management contracting review process, including procedures and templates.
Jennifer recently held the role as the Privacy and Security Analyst, working with the DHS Privacy and Security Unit for eight months. Jennifer was responsible for conducting 50 external provider privacy and security audits, developing an audit schedule, updating the Privacy Incident Reporting program, developing privacy and security dashboards, mitigating several privacy and security risks, and assisting with the 2022 Security Risk Assessment.
Over the last six months, in her role as a Health Care Compliance Analyst, working with the DHS Compliance Unit, Jennifer supported the Behavioral Health Substance Abuse Disorder section and worked with Fiscal/Revenue Management on billing and claiming compliance.
Health Care Privacy and Security Officer, Ken Tasseff
Ken Tasseff has served as the Healthcare Privacy and Security Officer for the County of Sonoma since April 2018. In his role with the County, he works within DHS where he also oversees Medical Records. He is a Certified Compliance Officer and holds certifications in Healthcare Privacy Compliance, Healthcare Research Compliance with the Health Care Compliance Association. He has extensive experience in all phases of health care compliance and is recognized across the state as an expert in public sector healthcare privacy compliance.
Prior to Sonoma County, Ken he spent five years as the Health Agency’s first Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer, developing a program that was recognized for excellence by the State. Prior to managing compliance programs, he was a public sector Human Resources Manager with over 10 years of experience in various HR roles. Ken is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Management Science and is an active member of the California Association of Privacy, Security and Compliance Officers.
Legislative Policy and External Affairs Officer
Human Resources Manager, Mari Cook
Mari Cook has served as the DHS Human Resources Manager since January 2019. As the Human Resources Manager for the Department, Mari is responsible for overseeing the day to day operational management of the Human Resources Unit, including employee/labor relations, performance management, organizational development and training, payroll, and general administration. Mari helps establish policy priorities, procedures, goals and objectives; consult with County HR, division heads and managers; and advise the department leadership in the formulation of HR policies and practices. She is familiar with the various laws, policies, programs and regulatory issues relating to the business practices of government and best practices in the field of Human Resources.
Mari comes to DHS as an experienced Human Resources manager with over twenty-five years of experience in human resources and employee and labor relations at the University of California. Most recently she was employed with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she was a key member of the leadership management team, and responsible for formulating Human Resources' multi-year strategic plan, developing metrics, and effectively providing leadership and management of Human Resources operations. Mari graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UC Davis.
Health Policy, Planning, and Evaluation Manager, Nora Mallonee-Brand
Nora Mallonee-Brand has worked at DHS since 2015, serving as the Health Policy, Planning and Evaluation Manager from 2017-2022 and is now managing one of the Department's newest units: Health Policy, Planning, and Equity. In these roles, Nora has led a team that provides planning, community collaboration, and data to ensure the Department and community have access to the right information to provide high quality programs and initiatives, and to address local inequities in health and well-being. Key areas of work include Health Action and Health Action Together, the County's collective impact initiative, to address social determinants of health, department strategic planning and cross-department collaboration, the Office of Equity's Core Team, and the First 5 Commission, among others. Nora has a master's degree from Stanford University in Policy, Organization, and Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College. She is a native of Sonoma County where she lives with her young family.
Department-wide Equity Manager, Denia Candela
Denia Candela accepted the Sonoma County Department of Health Services Department-wide Equity Manager position, effective May 31, 2022. Denia’s focus as Department-wide Equity Manager includes ensuring that all department staff are trained in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Denia assists the Department of Health Services Director in developing strategies focused on increasing a culturally sensitive organization with an equity-centered framework. In collaboration with the DHS Director and leadership team, Denia assists in building our workplace community, reimagining our culture, and strengthening our diverse engagement. She will help us to challenge traditions, systems, processes, and programs that have created barriers in achieving health equity and will continue to focus on community partnerships, equitable policy interventions, and trainings involving stakeholders, making meaningful impacts on health disparities caused by structural racism. Collaboration is a necessity when creating programming that will achieve lasting impacts.
Denia Candela joined the county’s COVID-19 response team in December 2020 as the Health Equity Manager in the Public Health Division of the Department of Health Services. In this role, she led the county's efforts in addressing the pandemic’s disparate impacts on black, indigenous and people of color by centering and systemizing racial equity within the County’s COVID-19 emergency response and vaccine administration. Denia holds a Bachelor's degree in statistics with a concentration in the actuarial field, from Sonoma State University. As a statistician, she approaches analytics through an equity lens, with an emphasis on methodology and cultural sensitivity, resulting in metrics that place community narrative at the forefront. Denia’s previous work has focused on training, development, and assessment of equity metrics and analysis.