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Be Well OC Hires CEO Phillip Franks

Irvine, CA. Oct. 23, 2023 – Be Well OC today announced that Phillip Franks has been named Chief Executive Officer and will join the organization on October 30, 2023.

Franks brings to Be Well OC more than 25 years of experience in healthcare and military leadership. He most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of OC Specialty Health & Hospitals, where he led two simultaneous new hospital projects through a complex and challenging process of planning, construction, and operation. Under his leadership, both Anaheim Community Hospital, a 98-bed General Acute Care Hospital and Outpatient Surgery Center, and Aliso Ridge Behavioral Health, a 119-bed Acute Psychiatric Hospital in Aliso Viejo, opened their doors in service to the community in 2022.

Prior to his work in Orange County, Franks served as COO of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the second largest municipal health system in the nation. He began his career with 18 dedicated years of service in the United States Army where he rose the ranks from a Medical Service Corps Officer up to Chief Administrative Officer – 40th Infantry Division.

“At a time when the state is transforming behavioral health care, Orange County stakeholders are working together to significantly improve our mental health system.  Phil’s notable career has prepared him in developing the skills and competencies needed to lead a diverse and dynamic team in a new paradigm of high-quality behavioral health care and service delivery for this community,” said Richard Afable, M.D., Mind OC Board Chair.

“Phil’s in-depth knowledge of Orange County’s health care industry and his experience in growing successful care systems made him a stand-out candidate from a pool of nearly 200 qualified leaders,” said Michael Hunn, CEO of CalOptima Health, who served on the selection committee.

“At this moment when the state is calling on counties to address an abundance of changes in behavioral health, we believe Orange County is in a position to lead a meaningful transformation,” said Dr. Veronica Kelley, Behavioral Health Director, Orange County Health Care Agency. “Phil’s familiarity and experience with the public behavioral health system, as well as his knowledge of private healthcare systems will allow Be Well to build upon its prior successes and help Orange County realize its full potential.”

“Collectively, with the County of Orange, CalOptima Health, and many other leading organizations in the County, we are working to affirm the important role Be Well plays in the county’s overall continuum of care and will benefit from Phillip’s leadership, insight and experience,” Afable added.

Franks holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle, and an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco.   He is a resident of Huntington Beach.

“I am honored to join Be Well at a time when the continuum of behavioral health care is being strengthened, both locally and statewide. Be Well is a vital part in our community’s mental health, and I believe that by working together we can transform lives and help more people,” Franks said. “Addressing health equity, particularly when it comes to behavioral health, requires creative thinking and willing collaboration. I am confident in the Be Well coalition built by the Board of Supervisors, CalOptima Health, our hospital partners and many others to facilitate working together to improve the lives and mental health of all Orange County residents.”

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