Dr Rob Oldham

Familiar face for new HHS director and chief psychiatrist

AUBURN, Calif. – Placer County will soon have a familiar face as its new director of Health and Human Services and chief psychiatrist: Dr. Rob Oldham.

Oldham previously served as Placer’s health officer and director of Public Health from 2014-2019, and is returning to the county after serving for the last year as chief medical executive for Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento and as medical director of acute psychiatric services across the Sutter Health system in California and Hawaii.

Following an extensive recruitment process, he was appointed to his new post by Placer County Executive Officer Todd Leopold in consultation with the Board of Supervisors, and will officially begin Sept. 14.

“Rob is a proven, trusted leader who embraces a collaborative and innovative spirit. The credentials he holds are invaluable to the county as we not only continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, but through his strategic engagement with our community partners,” said Leopold.

800 staff members, $230+ million budget

As Health and Human Services director, Oldham will oversee a department with a fiscal year 2020-21 budget of more than $230 million and more than 800 staff members. The department integrates five operating divisions: Adult System of Care, Children’s System of Care, Environmental Health and Animal Services, Human Services and Public Health, with fiscal guidance and oversight from Administrative Services. Health and Human Services serves the community through a combination of direct services and a robust network of public, private and community-based partners.

In his role as chief psychiatrist, Oldham will direct and manage psychiatric medical activities under the county’s mental health program.

The department’s wide array of services includes:

  • Crisis and emergency services for children and adults;
  • Public health services such as communicable disease control, emergency preparation and response;
  • Child welfare services and other programs for children;
  • Adult protective services;
  • Mental health programs;
  • Substance abuse and treatment services;
  • Assistance for needy families and individuals, including financial, food and nutrition, employment, and healthcare coverage;
  • Restaurant inspections and other environmental health programs; and
  • Animal adoptions, dog and cat licensing and a variety of other animal services.

Services are available throughout the county at offices in Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin and the North Lake Tahoe area.

Background info

Oldham received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and a Master of Science in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also completed his residencies in general psychiatry and preventive medicine/public health. He is board-certified in general psychiatry, general preventive medicine/public health, and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Oldham is also the immediate past president of the California Conference of Local Health Officers and the California Academy of Preventive Medicine, and has served on many other local and statewide boards and associations.

During his previous tenure with Public Health at Placer, Oldham led the division’s efforts to complete its first community health assessment in over a decade and initiate the Public Health Accreditation process. He also helped bring the Whole Person Care pilot program to the county.

“I’m excited to return in this new role and work with our team to build upon the department’s past successes to better serve our county’s residents,” Oldham said.

Jeff Brown retirement

Oldham will succeed Jeff Brown, who is transitioning into long-planned retirement in mid-September. Brown has served as Placer County’s Health and Human Services director for more than six years and many years in similar roles in other counties, including eight years in neighboring Nevada County. He will join his wife, who also recently retired, in traveling and other adventures