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Acting administrator announced for NV Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services



CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director, Mike Willden, announced that he has appointed Richard Whitley as Acting Administrator for the Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, effective Oct. 1, 2011. Whitley replaces Dr. Harold Cook who is retiring after 33 years of state service.

The Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services oversees a public and private network of programs involving mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities, as well as, operating the Rawson-Neal (Las Vegas) and Dini-Townsend (Reno/Sparks) Psychiatric Hospitals, and Lake’s Crossing Center forensic facility.

Whitley was previously appointed as the 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.  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. Tracy 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,” says Mike Willden, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services. “I look forward to continuing the theme of collaboration that we are developing among Nevada’s Health and Human Services agencies.”

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