Legislative Report


Electronic Summer 2022  |  Issue 51


State Legislative Update
By: Mark Peysakhovich
IPS Legislative Consultant

GOVERNOR APPOINTS STATE’S FIRST CHIEF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH OFFICER

Earlier this spring, IPS leaders conducted an introductory meeting and discussion of potential areas of collaboration with David T. Jones, the state's Associate Secretary for Behavioral Health at the Illinois Department of Human Services, whom the Governor recently named to the newly created position of Illinois’ Chief Behavioral Health Officer.

In a statement, the Governor said, “Everybody knows somebody who is struggling, and our support systems ought to reflect the universal importance of mental health. Our equity-driven State of Illinois Overdose Action Plan is just one way we're overhauling the state's behavioral health support systems - and with Chief Behavioral Health Officer David T. Jones at the helm, I look forward to the progress we'll continue to make in supporting Illinoisans' access to help."

In a statement by new Chief Behavioral Health Officer (CBHO) David T. Jones, he said, "As the Chief Behavioral Health Officer, I will work with people with lived expertise, Behavioral Health Providers, elected officials, people who use drugs and other stakeholders to transform how Illinois supports mental, emotional, and overall behavioral health wellness for everyone."

According to a state news release, CBHO Jones’ experience includes serving as Director for the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS/SUPR). IDHS/SUPR oversees and licenses a network of community-based substance use prevention and substance use disorder and recovery providers.

Previously, Jones served as Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services. Jones oversaw a $1 billion healthcare agency with nearly 1,000 employees. As a Behavioral Health Administrator with over 25 years of progressive collaborative management experience, Jones has produced measurable results to improve the lives of children, adults, and families with behavioral health needs. He possesses in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations inclusive of Medicaid managed care and Mental Health Rehabilitation Standards. Jones has managed both an urban and suburban public behavioral health system that achieved outcomes inclusive of increasing access to care and expanding the range of services available to residents with behavioral health care needs.

Tasked with the mission of transforming how Illinois supports mental, emotional, and overall behavioral health wellness for everyone - especially those most in need - Jones, as CBHO, will coordinate with relevant state agencies (including Department of Human Services, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Public Health) to develop recommendations for the ideal state infrastructure for behavioral health. 
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