Jerry Jeffe, M.A. brings over 40 years’ experience in mental health, advocacy, and government compliance to the OPEN MINDS team. He has played key roles with many coalitions focused on health care, mental health, and criminal justice. In addition, he has served as an executive in several mental health advocacy organizations, with a focus on chronic diseases, Medicaid and Medi-Cal policy analysis, and stakeholder communications.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Jeffe was the Executive Director at the California Association of Local Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions, in Sacramento, California.   Serving as the association’s first Executive Director, he supported the work of California’s 59 local mental and behavioral health boards and their commissioners by identifying opportunities statewide advocacy and developing communications campaigns.

Prior to his time at the California Association of Local Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions, Mr. Jeffe was the Public Policy Director at the California Chronic Care Coalition, where he provided public policy and legislative advice to organizations that work on issues dealing with chronic conditions and prevention, federal healthcare reform implementation, and patient-centered programs. Mr. Jeffe created and maintained partnerships to implement policy and legislative strategies with government agencies, the business community, nonprofit associations, foundations, stakeholders, coalitions, and provider organizations.

Previously, Mr. Jeffe served as the Deputy Executive Director and Legislative Advocate for Mental Health America of California (MHAC). In this position, Mr. Jeffe was responsible for legislative advocacy, bill analysis and tracking, and monitoring and writing about mental health and health care policies in California and Washington, D.C. including, the 1115 Medi-Cal Waiver Renewal and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Mr. Jeffe was also responsible for staffing the California Coalition for Mental Health, a confederation of 30 statewide mental health advocacy organizations.

Mr. Jeffe is also a former County Government Budget Analyst who was primarily responsible for health care, human services, and law and justice issues. He has handled legislative advocacy and analysis, bill tracking, and public policy issue analysis.

Mr. Jeffe is the author of several reference books on California and federal government information and data and over 600 newspaper and magazine articles. He has co-written and co-produced broadcast-quality videos on a variety of health care topics and has contributed to or edited numerous white papers or staff reports on issues such as mental health parity, access issues for the underserved who have a mental illness and/or lack health insurance, patients in managed healthcare plans, federal healthcare reform, 1115 Medi-Cal Waiver Renewal, fail-first policies, and drug formularies.

Mr. Jeffe earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Service from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.

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