Posts Tagged ‘Harold Cook’

Acting Administrator Appointed For Nevada State Mental Health Programs

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 5:01 pm October 3rd, 2011

CARSON CITY – Richard Whitley, administrator of the Nevada State Health Division, has been appointed to serve as acting administrator for the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services.

The appointment by Mike Willden, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, took effect Saturday. Whitley is replacing Dr. Harold Cook, who is retiring after 33 years of state service.

Health Division Administrator Richard Whitley has also been named acting administrator of the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services.

The Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services oversees a public and private network of programs involving mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities. The agency also operates the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas and the Dini-Townsend Psychiatric Hospital and the Lake’s Crossing Center forensic facility in the Reno-Sparks area.

Whitley was previously appointed as administrator of the Nevada State Health Division in January 2008. He led the Health Division through the agency’s regulatory changes that resulted from the hepatitis C outbreak associated with a surgical center in Las Vegas that was identified in 2008.

Whitley began state service as the senior psychologist for the Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility in 1986. A graduate of Willamette University, he holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Oregon University. He will continue his role as administrator of the Health Division.

Additionally, Dr. Tracey Green is being appointed as acting medical director for the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services. Dr. Green currently serves as the state health officer, providing medical leadership for Nevada’s public health programs, a position she has held since July 2009. She is a board certified family physician and graduate of the University of Nevada, School of Medicine. Dr. Green will also continue in her role with the State Health Division.

“Combining forces with mental health and public health allows us to continue to provide evidence-based and cost-effective treatment spanning a continuum of care for Nevadans whose needs are both mental and physical,” Willden said. “I look forward to continuing the theme of collaboration that we are developing among Nevada’s Health and Human Services agencies.”

A search has been conducted to find a permanent replacement for Cook. Willden said he is evaluating his options.