Richard Pitts, D.O.’73, Ph.D., was named chief medical officer at CalOptima, the single largest health insurer in Orange County, CA, which offers health insurance programs for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities. He will oversee CalOptima’s health care delivery system for 850,000 patients, 9,400 contracted physicians and 41 hospitals and rehab centers. He also will lead key CalOptima departments, including clinical operations, utilization management, case management, long-term support services, pharmacy management, enterprise analytics and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
Prior to joining CalOptima, Pitts served as outpatient medical director for Prospect Medical Systems. He also worked for St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare in Anaheim, CA, as vice president of clinically integrated networks and senior medical director. His work included integrating Providence Health System’s entities with the St. Joseph medical groups and affiliated physicians. Prior to that, he was interim hospital director (CEO) and medical director at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CA. During his tenure there, he managed the executive team and coordinated delivery of medical services for the 450-bed teaching hospital.
Before these roles, Pitts spent 17 years at Kaiser Permanente Orange County in a number of positions from staff physician to assistant area medical director, roles in which he provided coaching to executive and front-line physicians and non-physician executives. Also reflecting his interest in teaching and training the next generation of physicians, he spent 21 years at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center as an associate clinical professor and part-time attending physician.
His leadership has extended to state-level positions, serving on the California Industrial Medical Council as managing co-chair and as president of the California State Licensing Board. He was named Alumnus of the Year of DMU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2018.