Gary Tsai, MD

Interim Director, Medical Director, and Science Officer of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Gary Tsai, M.D. is double boarded in general psychiatry and addiction medicine. He is the Interim Director, Medical Director, and Science Officer of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, a division of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In this role, he is responsible for data analytics and providing clinical leadership to oversee a full spectrum of substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Overseeing a budget of over $350M and 400 staff, Dr. Tsai has extensive experience building teams and designing and implementing policy, programs, and technological solutions from concept to operationalization. He provides strategic, operational, and clinical leadership for the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver in Los Angeles County that revamped its specialty substance use disorder system. He also oversees quality improvement, utilization management, clinical training, data analytics, EHR implementation, and countywide opioid initiatives such as the Safe Med LA (

Having experienced the stigma and criminalization that often accompanies serious mental illness as the son of a mother with schizophrenia, Dr. Tsai is a passionate advocate for improving our behavioral health systems. In his pursuit of meaningful change, he founded Forgotten Films, a film production company focusing on social issue projects, specializing in behavioral health. Its first film, Voices, premiered on public television in May 2015 for Mental Health Awareness Month and was awarded a 2016 SAMHSA Voice Award, Honorable Mention.

He is also the CEO of SimpliCare Technology (, a technology company focused on improving health and social service systems through the development of intuitive technological solutions that simplify service delivery.

With a data-driven and innovative mindset, he is dedicated to addressing complex challenges from a fresh perspective. Balancing a diverse clinical background with decades of lived experience navigating a loved one through our complicated health and behavioral health systems, he is driven by a passion for improving health care service delivery.