ADMH Commissioner resigns, replacement appointed | Health
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC)- Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh announced her resignation on Tuesday, citing family priorities as the reason she is leaving the position. Baugh will resign as of June 30, 2012.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of this state. However, it has become increasingly apparent to me that my family priorities require most of my attention at this time," Baugh said in a statement to media.
"I believe the department is well-positioned to continue to make progress toward providing the highest caliber services to Alabamians with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses, or substance addictions. Throughout the department, there are dedicated individuals who are making a positive difference in the lives of consumers and their families, and I am honored to have served as commissioner," Baugh said.
Minutes after Baugh's resignation was announced in a release, the Governor's Office issued a statement saying her replacement had been appointed. Jim Reddoch will serve as the new ADMH Commissioner.
Reddoch says he will continue Baugh's work of integrating mental health patients into community-based care environment. Under Baugh's direction, Alabama because the first Southeastern state to
move all patients with intellectual disabilities from institutionalized
settings into community-based care, according to the ADMH.
"I am committed to building on the department's progress of developing the highest-quality services possible for all of the patients we serve," Reddoch said in a release. "From community-based care networks to services within our traditional mental health facilities, we will strive to meet the needs of everyone we serve."
Reddoch has 26 years of experience in mental health services in Alabama. He served as a deputy commissioner for the Department of Mental Health from 1988 to 1992, the director of Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa from 1992 to 2000 and the director of the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa from 2000 until 2009. He currently serves as the executive director of the Indian Rivers Mental Health Center.
Gov. Bentley said he believes Reddoch's "wealth of experience" will serve the state and all ADMH patients well.
"We have made tremendous progress in moving patients into a more modern, community-based care network," Bentley said.
"We are also making sure our traditional mental health facilities best meet the needs of the patients they serve. Jim Reddoch's background and expertise will help us accomplish our mission," the governor said.
Bentley also praised Baugh's work during her service as ADMH Commissioner, saying she fully dedicated herself to the needs of her patients and their families.
"As recently as last week, her efforts were recognized on a national level as she spoke with a Senate committee about the state's modernization efforts. She has made a lasting contribution to mental health services in Alabama," Bentley said.
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