Stephan Betz, Ph.D., MT-BC


Stephan Betz is a music therapist working in the San Francisco Bay Area.  On September 22, 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors appointed Stephan Betz as the new Department of Health Services Director. Dr. Betz was selected from a recruitment that attracted 38 highly qualified candidates from across the country following an extensive candidate selection and interview process.


Dr. Betz has been in the Health field for approximately 20 years.  He has been working for the County of Solano in the Health and Social Services Department for the past 12 years, most recently serving as the Deputy Director for Older and Disabled Adult Services.  Dr. Betz has also served as the Assistant Director of Operations, Planning, and Research and as the Mental Health Director.  Prior to joining Solano County, Dr. Betz worked for Contra Costa County in a number of progressively responsible positions in community services, family services, and the County Administrative Office.  Dr. Betz is also a board certified therapist practicing since 1996 here in the United States, as well as Australia and Germany.


Susan Gorin, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors stated, “I am thrilled to announce our appointment of Dr. Stephan Betz as Director of Health Services, a position critical to serving the needs of some of our County’s most vulnerable residents. Dr. Betz’s extensive experience, coupled with his demonstrated innovative approach to prevention and health equity, make him a great fit for Sonoma County.”  


Dr. Betz is originally from Karlsruhe, Germany, where he earned a Ph.D. in Community Education and worked as a family counselor in psychiatric clinics. From 1985 to 1995 he directed a therapeutic community with supportive housing and farming in South Australia.


“I am honored to be chosen as the Health Services Director for Sonoma County,” commented Director Betz. “The Sonoma community has successfully promoted the wellbeing of our residents for quite some time. It is my privilege to work with the Board, members of the community, Health Services staff, and the entire County family to make Sonoma the healthiest county in the State of California.”


As the Director, Dr. Betz will lead the County’s Department of Health Services, which consists of approximately 700 employees and a budget of $247 million. The Department of Health Services, in partnership with the local health system, provides a wide range of services designed to protect, promote, and achieve healthy individuals, families, and communities. These services support community health and safety, emergency medical preparedness, disease control, behavioral health, and clinical services.


Stephan also has received the 2001 Betty Isern Howery Award for Professional Excellence. He has provided therapy for 36 years in Europe, Australia, Canada and now the U.S. The U.S. Congress, California State Senate, California State Assembly and the Developmental Disabilities Council of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties recognized him for his contributions to the community. Dr. Betz has written two books on assessing young children and children with disabilities and provided significant input in establishing the California Infant Development Association’s Competencies for Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioners.

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