As President and CEO of Apalachee Center, I am tasked with providing strategic leadership for the whole company, directly supervising our Senior Management Team, and carrying out the broad direction set by our Board. I spend a good portion of my time developing and securing funding for new business ventures, whether through legislative or private means. I try to spend as much time as I can visiting Apalachee’s acute inpatient psychiatric units, talking to clients and staff, since that’s really why I got into this field in the first place.
I got my first job in mental health as a Mental Health Assistant when I was 21 – essentially a nurse’s aide in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while I was working my way through school. The experience of working with severely mentally ill clients was so profound for me that I changed my entire academic trajectory and wound up with a PhD in clinical psychology. I practiced as a clinical psychologist for about 20 years until I joined Apalachee Center as Chief Managed Care Officer in 2005. Along the way, I worked in state psychiatric hospitals in New York and Delaware, in private hospitals in New York and Rhode Island, and taught at Albany Medical College, the University of Hartford, Widener University, the City University of New York, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Brown University Medical School, and am currently a faculty affiliate at the FSU Psychology Department.
I am a huge fan of Tallahassee. I came originally because my wife (a native Floridian and, sad to say, lifelong Gator from a Gator family), got a job here. I had never been west of Orlando in Florida before, and I loved Tallahassee from the moment I saw it – from the beautiful canopy roads to the small town atmosphere with access to great wilderness and beach areas, to the great restaurants and nightlife, I love it all. I’ve lived in a lot of Northeastern cities, and the friendliness and accessibility of folks in Tallahassee is a real breath of fresh air – fresh warm air, most of the time! I would strongly encourage anyone looking for a sophisticated city where you can rapidly get to know the folks who are involved in the life of the community – even if you’re “not from here” – to consider Tallahassee.
About Apalachee Center
Apalachee Center started as the Leon County Mental Health Institute in 1948, and has grown to be the largest behavioral health provider in the Big Bend area. Apalachee programs include Capital Therapy, Eastside Psychiatric Hospital, a crisis stabilization unit, a detox program, six residential programs and eight outpatient clinics on eight campuses in each county of the Big Bend. Apalachee provides psychiatric, psychotherapeutic, counseling, rehabilitative and case management services for clients aged 6 and above, across this full spectrum of inpatient, residential and outpatient settings. In addition to behavioral health services, Apalachee provides primary care services for Apalachee clients in Leon and Gadsden Counties, and behavioral health consultation and services for a variety of schools and private companies in the Big Bend region. As of 2015, Apalachee also began providing management and leadership for Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Apalachee Center has about 450 employees and treats about six thousand clients every year. Apalachee Center is a major teaching hospital for Florida State University, and takes dozens of social work, nursing, psychology, art and music therapy and medical students and interns from FSU, FAMU, TCC, and Kaiser every year.