Hal has been working with underserved populations in the health care/behavioral health/homeless fields for over 27 years. He worked for 8 years in drug treatment programs, homeless shelters, suicide/crisis intervention, and county jail in the San Francisco Bay Area in the capacity of a case manager, substance abuse counselor, and group facilitator. He attended graduate school at the University of California Berkeley (MPH & MSW) where his graduate work included research on health insurance policy, homelessness, and intravenous drug use.
In 2000 he began his Federal Service as a Presidential Management Fellow with the National Institutes of Health, working on projects with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Mental Health. Following this, he moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area and began working for the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a Policy Expert for the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides income support for aged and disabled, low-income populations.
After five years with the SSA, Hal began work with the Health Resources and Services Administration, where he was the Region 9 liaison for Behavioral Health, Border Health, Homelessness, Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Health, Rural Health, and Telehealth issues. He was the Regional representative to national work groups on Behavioral Health, Border Health, Homelessness, and Rural Health; and served as the national chairperson of HRSA's Regional Operations Homelessness Workgroup, which coordinated HRSA Regional responses to the inter-related issues of healthcare and housing/homelessness.