Press release Steven Lalich

Gold Coast Health Plan Names New CEO
Industry Veteran Selected to Lead Ventura County Plan

CAMARILLO, Calif., April 27, 2015 — Gold Coast Health Plan (GCHP) today announced the hiring of Dale Villani as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Mr. Villani is a health care executive with more than 34 years of experience in operations management.

Dr. David Araujo, Chairman of the Ventura County Medi-Cal Commission (VCMMCC) said, “After a nationwide search, we are confident that Mr. Villani has the right skill set to take Gold Coast Health Plan to the next level. As we mature and grow as a health care plan, we need a leader capable of meeting the needs of the Medi-Cal members in Ventura County.”

Prior to joining GCHP, Mr. Villani served as the chief operating officer (COO) of Arizona Priority Care (AzPC), a network of community physicians — affiliated with Heritage Provider Network, based in in Phoenix, AZ, — that promotes medical homes and case management to its patients. Additionally, Villani served as COO of Magellan Health Services in Phoenix and from 2007 to 2010 held a variety of leadership roles at Aetna, Inc., in Hartford, CT. He served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Services Corps from 1980 to 2000 retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

When asked about his appointment, Mr. Villani said, “This is an exciting time to be joining the GCHP team and I am looking forward to working with the Commission and our providers to advance the delivery of high quality and accessible health care for our members in Ventura County.”

Ruth Watson, who has served as the interim CEO beginning in August 2014, will return to her previous role as the Plan’s COO. Ms. Watson was instrumental in keeping GCHP on the right track for the past seven months while the search for a new CEO was underway. Araujo added, “The entire Commission is extremely grateful for the leadership and stability Ruth provided during this time of transition.”

Mr. Villani earned his master’s degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree in health services administration from the University of Nebraska. He is expected to begin work on or before June 1, 2015.

Media Contact: Steven Lalich, 805-437-5514, 

About Gold Coast Health Plan

Gold Coast Health Plan (GCHP) is an independent public entity created by County Ordinance and authorized through Federal Legislation. GCHP is governed by the Ventura County Medi-Cal Managed Care Commission (VCMMCC), a panel comprised of locally elected officials, providers, hospitals, clinics, the county health care agency and consumer advocates. GCHP proudly serves more than 188,000 Medi-Cal members living in Ventura County, Calif. and is dedicated to providing and maintaining a member-first focus that centers on the delivery of exceptional service to its members by enhancing the quality of health care, providing greater access and improving member choice. To learn more about Gold Coast Health Plan, visit us at: