Teens See Full List
Dateline Press Releases County
Jan 08, 2020,
West County Health Centers
"Dr. Ellen Bauer joins WCHC as CAO


Press Release Description



January 3, 2020                                    Contact: Jennifer Neeley, Assoc. Director of Development

For Immediate Release                         (707) 869-5977 Ext 3313



Dr. Ellen Bauer joins West County Health Centers as CAO



West County Health Centers (WCHC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Ellen Bauer will join its executive team as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) on February 10, 2020.  Bauer comes to WCHC after a successful career with the County of Sonoma, most recently as the Director of Public Health, where she managed a staff of over 200. 


“West County Health Centers is at the forefront of collaboration and innovation to improve community health. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring the experience I have gained at the national, state and county levels to the community where I live and raised my family. I look forward to building on my strong relationships in this community and working with the dedicated employees, Board members, and volunteers of West County Health Centers to improve the health and resiliency of all residents,” said Bauer.


Prior to becoming Public Health Director, Bauer served in leadership positions within the Department of Health Services.  She managed alcohol and other drug prevention programs and was pivotal in local health system transformation through her leadership in founding Health Action and the Committee for Healthcare Improvement. More recently Bauer has supported evidence-based strategies to address the trauma from wildfires and to provide support for families to assure healthy brain development of babies during the most critical first 1,000 days. 


“West County Health Centers is fortunate to have a public health leader of Ellen’s caliber and experience to serve as our CAO. I have worked closely with Ellen over the past 16 years and have partnered with her to address many complex community health issues.  We look forward to her leadership as we navigate the health challenges facing our community,” said West County Health Centers CEO, Mary Szecsey. 


Bauer is a graduate of Stanford University and earned a Master of Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Health Services and Policy Analysis from University of California at Berkeley.


Dr. Bauer was honored as a Sonoma County Wellness Champion by the Northern California Center for Well-Being and serves on the steering committee for various community health collaborations, such as Sonoma Community Resilience Collaborative, Covered Sonoma, Aging Together, and Redwood Community Health Network.


Dr. Bauer led two cohorts in the National and California Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health to address the local challenges of aging and community resilience.  She was a key team member for the evaluation of the nation’s first statewide Medicaid managed care system (in Arizona) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Program to Promote Long-Term Care Insurance. She was awarded several pre- and post-doctoral fellowships from the National Institute on Aging and the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.


West County Health Centers is a private, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center providing medical, dental, and behavioral health services for 15,000 patients in a 660-square mile service area in western Sonoma County.  West County Health Centers envisions healthy communities building relationships and partnerships that support health and wellbeing for all people.


West County Health Centers’ mission is to provide comprehensive, quality, and accessible health care services to the communities of western Sonoma County.  We are a cohesive team of health care providers, support staff, and volunteers dedicated to wellness, compassion, affordability and excellence of care.  We believe in non-judgmental and equal care for all members of our diverse community.


For over 40 years, West County Health Centers has provided health care services to the entire community including those who are not accepted elsewhere due to HIV/AIDS, homelessness, mental illness or addiction; those in the community who lack the financial resources to pay for quality health care, as well as many others including medically vulnerable and underserved seniors, working families, and teens.  No patient is turned away from West County Health Centers for lack of funds.


West County Health Centers operates seven sites in western Sonoma County including:  Russian River Health Center, Occidental Area Health Center, Gravenstein Community Health Center, Homeless Healthcare Services, Forestville Wellness Center, Forestville Teen Clinic and Sebastopol Community Health Center & Dental Clinic.


For more information about West County Health Centers sites and services visit   




Contact Information
Name: Jennifer Neeley     Email:
Phone: 707-869-5977x3313      Fax: 707-869-5983




In this Issue

The Heroes Next Door

Firefighters are our heroes. They face the menace of raging wildfires while others seek safety, and every day, they assist individuals experiencing traumatic events. Incredibly, many firefighters perf...

Stars in Our Eyes

Indeed, viewing Saturn’s rings, as well as nebulae, clusters of stars and other galaxies millions of light years away at the top of the Mayacamas Mountains is truly breathtaking—an experie...

How to Save a Park: Broadway Style

As the sun sets behind Sonoma Mountain, a talented group of professional singers and dancers perform on a stage set within the old winery ruins at Glen Ellen’s Jack London Historic State Park. T...

See all...



Upcoming Events

20-Jan-2020 07:00 am

22-Jan-2020 09:30 am

24-Jan-2020 06:00 pm