02 Aug

Leon Hoover

published on August 2, 2013 - 6:02 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Leon Hoover, CEO
Kings View Corp

What your company does: Kings View provides behavioral health services to 24 counties throughout California.   Kings View offers six service lines:  Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Developmental Disability, TelePsychiatry, Management Information Systems-behavioral health electronic health records implementation and support and Youth Work Force.

Education: Master’s in management, Penn State; and Master’s in social work, Marywood University, Scranton, Penn

Age: 62

Family: My wife Carolyn and I have been married for 38 years.  Carolyn enjoys volunteering in the local community and with our church, Mennonite Community Church located in Fresno. Carolyn and I both grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  After raising our family in Lancaster, we moved to Fresno five years ago when the Kings View’s Board of Directors invited me to serve as the CEO of Kings View.  Our oldest son Brad is 34 and living in the Bay Area, and is CEO of Grammarly.com; our daughter, Valerie is 31, recently married and living in Chicago with her husband Nate.  They are both completing their internships for Ph.Ds.’ in psychology. Nathan is 27 and living in Lancaster.  He is completing his MBA in accounting and finance at the Penn State Harrisburg Campus.  Our family is spread across the country so we keep in touch by phone, Skype and work at making it a priority to get together twice a year for fun and recreation.


Can you give us an overview of the services you offer, Leon?  
Kings View was formed in 1951 as a not-for-profit 501c3 health care provider. It has a wonderful history of serving the Central Valley and beyond. Kings View touches the lives of over 10,000 clients each year in need of services. The administrative services office is located in Fresno.  Community based services are located primarily in the Central Valley. Through contracts in Shasta, Yolo, Kern and Kings counties, Kings View also serves students with mental health concerns that affect their school performance.  The opportunity to provide mental health services in the student’s school setting is a wonderful way to make high quality mental health services as accessible as possible.

Kings Views services are informed by the Wellness and Recovery model that recognizes and supports the incredible resilience, strength and courage of persons who live with a serious mental illness. There was a time that people who had a diagnosis of a serious mental illness were viewed by care providers as patients who had very limited internal resources to live their lives. The Wellness and Recovery movement recognizes the strengths and personal resources of individuals with a serious mental illness.                       

Are behavioral health services a market that is underserved, Leon?  
Unfortunately, behavioral health care is an underserved market. The California HealthCare Foundation just released an excellent comprehensive study, “Mental Health Care in California: Painting a Picture.” It states Valley residents experience the highest rate of mental illness in the state and the lowest rate per capita supply of psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists.  The Valley has just slightly more psychologists per capita next to the lowest region, the Inland Empire.

There is a key issue that I want to comment on here. The issue is the way, even in the 21st century, there continues to be extensive stigma of persons with a diagnosis of serious mental illness. Serious Mental Illness is a brain disorder. The brain is the most complex organ in the body, so it is reasonable to understand it may malfunction. We don’t question that other organs in our bodies malfunction and we need treatment. Yet many people, including those developing policy that affect persons with a serious mental illness, still approach mental illness as a “personal defect.” This gets translated into polices and decisions that may negatively affect resources focused on treatment.

Can you briefly explain the telepsychiatry services you offer? Is it pretty common in this field, Leon?
Telepsychiatry is a specialty service within the broader scope of TeleHealth services.  KingsView began providing psychiatric assessments, medication reviews and consultations via televideo over fifteen years ago. We are the largest and most experienced provider of Telepsychiatry in the State.  We provide these services through a dedicated HIPAA compliant network for both Kings Views internal operations and external contracts with various county departments of behavioral health, federally qualified health centers and other providers. Kings View’s network supports high definition video, an important element in providing high quality service. This service has been incredibly effective in delivering high-quality service to rural areas where it is difficult to support onsite face-to-face service.

What was your first job growing up and what did you learn from it, Leon?  
My first job was working at the parts counter for a Massey Ferguson farm implement business. I enjoyed the contact with people and being able to get them the exact part they needed. I also discovered I enjoyed numbers. I can still tell you the part number (1014-219 R91) at that time of an oil filter for a Massey Ferguson 65 Diesel! What I didn’t enjoy about the job was the annual parts inventory that was done with a manual count and took about a week to complete. I found it incredibly boring!

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