April 23, 2024 2:19 pm
State Behavioral Health Division Experiences Leadership Changes

In recent news, the Oregon Health Policy Board held a meeting where Ebony Clarke, the state’s director of behavioral health for just over a year, announced significant changes to her office. Clarke stated that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) had brought in a consulting firm to conduct an organizational assessment in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within the department. With a long-standing consulting contract with Deloitte in place, OHA sought to streamline its operations and improve communication among different divisions.

Ebony Clarke emphasized the importance of breaking down silos within OHA and promoting collaboration between different areas of focus. As a result of the organizational assessment, OHA decided to eliminate the Health Systems Division and establish two new divisions: Behavioral Health Division and Medicaid Division. Clarke will now be overseeing three deputy directors to ensure a more integrated approach to healthcare services.

Despite the restructuring, no employees were terminated, and the changes took effect on April 1. Additionally, OHA is actively recruiting for six key leadership positions, including chief medical officer and chief financial officer, which are currently being filled by interim executives. Sejal Hathi, OHA’s newly appointed director, acknowledged that filling these roles would present challenges but expressed optimism about the department’s ability to attract top talent.

Hathi also highlighted the need for a dental director for the Oregon Health Plan and encouraged anyone who knew qualified candidates to reach out to OHA. Overall, these changes reflect OHA’s commitment to improving behavioral health services and enhancing coordination within the department.

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