Helen DuPlessis, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. DuPlessis is a Blue Shield of California board member, a pediatrician, and an accomplished physician executive with extensive leadership experience in health management, program and policy development, practice transformation, public health, maternal and child health policy, community systems development, performance improvement, and managed care. She has a rich history of involvement in healthcare administration for health plans, local health departments, community health centers, school systems, and medical training programs, and currently directs the Mom and Baby Substance Exposure Initiative, a State Opioid Response grant, for Health Management Associates.
She brings a wealth of in-depth knowledge of public sector health programs, experience in improving the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations, and expertise in maternal and child health policy and practice to HMA including many years in perinatal substance use, where she built programs for exposed high-risk infants, collaborated on the development of substance use treatment programs for the mom-baby dyad, and created an inaugural training program on perinatal substance use for child welfare, legal services and family court staff.
Before joining HMA, Dr. DuPlessis served as the chief medical officer with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center where she provided executive management for integrated medical, behavioral, dental and pharmacy services in a large network of Federally Qualified Health Centers. She was responsible for building and upgrading key elements of the organizational infrastructure and clinical services, including building a Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) service program to augment the hub and spoke participation, strategic business expansion (including a new child development clinic, child obesity programs and new imaging services including retinal screening, mammography, and radiology), PCMH certification, EHR implementation, clinical work force recruitment, training and development, and performance improvement.
Other notable professional experiences include her work as senior advisor to the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities where she provided leadership, research, program development support, counsel and representation to local, state and national efforts, community level systems transformation, as well as training and mentoring students in various disciplines and educational levels.
Dr. DuPlessis was the CMO at LA Care during the initial rollout of Medi-Cal managed care in California, and served as Director of Student Medical Services for the LA Unified School District.
With a proven track record in understanding and implementing innovative and effective health programs and performance improvement activities, she has served as an advocate of community capacity-building, staff and professional development.
Dr. DuPlessis earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She also has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California.