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Press Release

CalOptima Names New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Richard Pitts will lead the health plan’s medical team

ORANGE, Calif. (January 24, 2022)

CalOptima has appointed Richard Pitts, D.O., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). He will join the public agency on February 7.

“I have always endeavored to better the human experience and delivery of health services for our
Orange County communities,” Dr. Pitts said. “CalOptima’s mission of providing quality health care for our community’s underserved is a role and an honor that I readily accept as Chief Medical Officer.”

Previously, Dr. Pitts was the outpatient medical director for Prospect Medical Systems in Orange, California. Prior to that, he served as vice president of clinically integrated networks and senior medical director at St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare also in Orange, and as interim hospital director and medical director for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California. His career also included multiple positions at Kaiser Permanente: assistant area medical director, chief of occupational medicine & employee health, and emergency medicine staff physician.

Dr. Pitts was an associate clinical professor of medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC Irvine Medical Center. He was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson as managing co-chair of the California Industrial Medical Council and served six of 10 years as board president of the California State Licensing Board where he was appointed by Governors Brown, Deukmejian and Wilson.

Dr. Pitts holds a Ph.D. from Walden University in Minneapolis, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) from Des Moines (Iowa) University, and a B.S. in chemistry from Chapman University in Orange. He has a Physician and Surgeon License in the state of California and has received honors from Des Moines University and the Chapman University Schmid College of Science and Technology. Additionally, Dr. Pitts holds three Certificates of Specialization from Harvard Business School — one in strategy, a second in entrepreneurship and innovation, and the third in leadership and management.

“CalOptima welcomes Richard to our family as Chief Medical Officer,” said Michael Hunn, CalOptima Interim Chief Executive Officer. “His deep expertise in health care policy development and strong reputation for physician leadership will be integral in the implementation of important future initiatives to improve quality of life and the health outcomes of our population.”

About CalOptima

A county organized health system, CalOptima provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima’s mission is to provide members with access to quality health care services delivered in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. In total, CalOptima serves more than 867,000 members with a network of more than 9,400 primary care doctors and specialists as well as 41 acute and rehab hospitals.

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