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Devereux’s Gwen Skinner appointed to Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission

 

Devereux Vice President of Operations Gwen Skinner was recently selected to serve on the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission.

The commission, comprised of lawmakers, judges, behavioral health professionals, educators and law enforcement officials, will conduct a comprehensive review of Georgia’s behavioral health system.

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Vice President of Operations Gwen Skinner was recently selected to serve on the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission

The commission, created by legislation approved earlier this year by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, will examine behavioral health services in the state. The commission’s 24 members were sworn in during a ceremony at the Georgia State Capitol in September.  

Skinner was appointed to the commission by House Speaker David Ralston as a result of her 30-plus years of behavioral healthcare experience in both the public and private sectors. As vice president of operations, she is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations – including all programs and services – at Devereux’s Georgia, Florida and Texas centers.  

“I am honored to serve on this crucial commission that will be considering new and innovative ideas to improve Georgia’s service delivery system,” said Skinner. “This is a unique opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with an outstanding group of behavioral health professionals. The commission has the potential to positively impact future outcomes of Georgia’s individual citizens, and our state, as a whole.”   

Examining Georgia’s behavioral health services

The commission, which is comprised of lawmakers, judges, behavioral health professionals, educators and law enforcement officials, will conduct a comprehensive review of Georgia’s behavioral health system. The review will include:  

  • Behavioral health services and facilities available in the state
  • Identification of behavioral health issues in children, adolescents and adults
  • Role of the educational system in the identification and treatment of behavioral health issues
  • Impact of behavioral health issues on the criminal justice system and the state’s homeless population
  • Legal and systemic barriers to treatment
  • Workforce shortages that impact the delivery of care
  • Access to care, and the role of payers in such access
  • Impact of untreated behavioral illnesses on children transitioning into adulthood 

“This legislative session, we allocated $20 million for local health departments to better treat mental health issues and doubled funding for a successful program in Georgia schools to help students in crisis,” explained Gov. Brian Kemp in a press release announcing members of the commission. “Working together with communities and families, this commission of legislators, judges, subject-matter experts, and citizens will now examine how the state can improve access and delivery of behavioral health services for the people of Georgia.”

 

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