LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally appointed Dr. Jonathan Sherin as director of the Department of Mental Health, noting his years of experience with the Veterans Administration locally and in South Florida.
Sherin’s most recent post was with the nonprofit Volunteers of America, where he served as chief medical officer and executive vice president for military communities.
Testifying before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2014, Sherin stressed a holistic approach to mental health.
“To manage serious mental health issues and to prevent suicide in any population requires not only identifying those who are suffering and dismantling any barriers that may be interfering with their access to treatment, but also creating enriched and cohesive communities in which all comers belong, in which opportunities to live purposefully are cultivated, in which well-being is nourished broadly and in which human flourishing is an articulated, promoted and attainable goal,” he said.
Prior to his work with VOA, Sherin was chief of mental health and behavioral sciences for the Veterans Administration’s Miami office, which serves Dade, Broward and Monroe counties. He also has local experience, having worked as the chief of psychiatry and mental health for the VA’s West Los Angeles campus.
The surgeon and psychiatrist got his undergraduate degree from Brown University and went to medical school at the University of Chicago. He was a scholar-in-residence at Harvard Medical School and completed his post-graduate internship and residency at UCLA.
The department’s former director, Dr. Marvin Southard, announced his retirement in August 2015, shortly after the board voted to consolidate the county’s three health agencies. Southard led the department from 1998 and retired in November.
Sherin will replace Acting Director Robin Kay at a salary of $300,000.