Jamie Mangrum appointed CIO for CA Department of Mental Health

Launching new technology projects, consolidating overlapping programs and getting state employees to adapt to new systems are tough challenges. Jamie Mangrum, who this week started in his new role as chief information officer for the California Department of Mental Health (DMH), says he’s been there and done that. In fact, Jamie has overcome much more during his 15-year tenure with the State of California.

Jamie Mangrum

From 2004, Mangrum served as CIO for the Department of General Services where he says he helped consolidate 23 different IT programs into one organization. In 2006, he was recruited to serve as AIO for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation where he served for about a year before being diagnosed with cancer. With doctors giving him between 4 to 6 weeks to live, he medically retired.

"It’s kind of funny, I run into people I have not seen in many years and sometimes they don’t expect me to be here," he laughed. "But they don’t actually say ‘you’re alive.’"

By 2008, Mangrum was back in good health, working as CIO for the Prison Healthcare Receiver. He helped modernize the technology side of the prison healthcare delivery system to serve 166,000 inmates in 33 institutions throughout the state. Mangrum is also credited with building what is now considered one of the largest Project Management Offices in state government.

After stints back at DGS and as lead over the Unemployment Modernization project for the Office of Systems Integration, he was drawn to his current position. He says the job description for CIO of DMH read as if it was custom-written for his skill set. The technology environment is decentralized and challenging with a lack of resources. The department still uses legacy mainframes, including a mental health case management system that manages health plans for patients throughout the state’s mental hospitals.

"We have a huge need for enterprise technology, but luckily there are so many other government agencies that have gone forward with things we need… I really want to build upon what’s already out there and see if I can find really good partnerships for things like electronic health records and so on."

Mangrum says he wants to spend the next several years at DMH to build a solid, modern IT program consistent with his record of getting things done.

Bill Maile was editor of Techwire from 2011 to 2016.