Paula Wilhelm

Department of Health Care Services Update

Paula Wilhelm is an Assistant Deputy Director for Behavioral Health with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). On behalf of DHCS, she supports policy development and implementation for an array of Medi-Cal specialty behavioral health initiatives. These include the California Behavioral Health Co​mmunity-Based Organized Networks of Equitable Care and Treatment (BH-CONNECT) Demonstration, as well as California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) projects like Documentation Redesign and Behavioral Health Administrative Integration. Paula has been working on Medi-Cal policy since 2015. Prior to joining DHCS, Paula was Director of Policy for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association, and served as the organization’s policy and advocacy lead on substance use and drug policy throughout her tenure. She has also held Medicaid-focused roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and California Association of Public Hospitals. Paula began her health care career providing direct client services and administrative support at community-based women’s health clinics in Atlanta and San Francisco. When she is not working, you can find her at home in Oakland hiking with her Husky-Chow mix, Ronin, or reading something suspenseful.