PAU alumna Jodi Pinn, PhD, given “Mover & Shaker” Healthcare Heroes Award

June 16, 2021

The Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Board honored PAU alumna Jodi Pinn, PhD, with the 2021 Mover & Shaker Award. Dr. Pinn was honored for bringing telehealth to outpatient behavioral health services at Santa Clara County-Valley Medical Center hospitals and clinics throughout the pandemic.



Jodi Pinn

“Jodi has been instrumental in directing the effort to pivot the provision of services such that tele mental health became a viable and effective method of providing clinical services,” said Gary Miles, PhD. Miles is also Chair of the SCC Behavioral Health Board and nominated Dr. Pinn.

In early March 2020, emergency planning meetings convened to respond to the pandemic and to plan for continuing patient care. Dr. Pinn reached out to her County EAP (Employee Assistance Program) director for more information because they had implemented tele counseling services before the pandemic. She attended webinars and sought out journal articles and APA resources.

She then drafted and had approved “Telehealth Guidelines,” created templates in their Electronic Medical Record, and worked with Patient Business Services to work out billing and reimbursement. “I obtained emergency telehealth privileges for staff through our Medical Staff Office so that we had the ability to provide telehealth services according to our bylaws. I obtained and put in place telework agreements for all staff so that they could work remotely,” she said. She worked with colleagues to convert all appointment to telehealth visits, making sure patients were informed and even obtaining county-issues smartphones for staff to utilize.

Dr. Pinn was working long days, seven days a week. She described it as intense, but she also focused on communicating with and supporting her team and maintaining flexibility and perspective. “It [tele mental health] was so important during the pandemic because it was the only option for continuing patient care during the county issued shelter-in-place order that went into effect on March 17, 2020.”

Dr. Pinn is the Primary Care Behavioral Health Chief & Chief Psychologist at the Santa Clara County-Valley Medical Center. On winning the Movers & Shakers Healthcare Hero Award, she said, “I am honored, of course, but I mostly feel the recognition goes to my Primary Care Behavioral Health team. They are the ones that did the heavy lifting, and I was in the background helping make sure they had what they needed to continue working. They are really the Behavioral Health Heroes!”

Pinn is a 2000 graduate of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now Palo Alto University)’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program, with an emphasis in neuropsychology.