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2007 Behavioral Health Champions Introduction

November 2, 2007
by Douglas J. Edwards, Editor-in-Chief
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Honoring executive leadership in behavioral health

If you ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up, he's not likely to say CEO of a behavioral healthcare organization. But somewhere down the line today's leaders realized their passion for this field and made a commitment to improving service delivery for their consumers and communities. Being at the top of a behavioral healthcare organization certainly is a tough job, especially with omnipresent staffing and funding challenges. Yet some executives find ways to help their organizations not only survive, but thrive. They transform their operations to meet strategic goals; grow services to meet consumers' evolving needs; and share their experiences with colleagues to help improve service delivery across the country.

This is the third year Behavioral Healthcare is honoring such "champions" in the field. This year's honorees, nominated by readers and selected by the editors, are: Ann Borders, president and CEO of Cummins Behavioral Health Systems, Inc., in Indiana; Dale K. Klatzker, PhD, president and CEO of The Providence Center in Rhode Island and Massachusetts; Lawrence P. Noonan, CEO of A.W.A.R.E., Inc., in Montana and New Mexico; and Tuerk Schlesinger, MBA, CEO of AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc., in Alabama, chosen in partnership with the sponsor of this year's awards, Netsmart Technologies. We hope you find the stories behind this year's honorees interesting, inspiring, and reenergizing your passion for your own work.