MHRS executive director plans to retire

News Journal



LEBANON, Ohio – Brent Lawyer, executive director of Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRS), has announced his plan to retire in 2019. The MHRS Board of Directors has formed a search committee to begin looking for a new executive director.

Lawyer joined MHRS in 2000 as associate director and was promoted to executive director in 2002. Prior to his time with MHRS, Lawyer worked in clinical outpatient settings and held positions in administrative management and professional training.

As MHRS executive director, Lawyer led the growth of the local behavioral health system to include new providers of services available to residents. This has led to significant increases in the number of people served while maintaining a financially sound system, according to a press release from MHRS.

“It’s been a real pleasure serving the people of Warren and Clinton Counties for these many years,” Lawyer said. “I’ve had a great team and have enjoyed working with dedicated and professional provider agency staff, too. I think we’ve built a solid system of behavioral health care that leaves room for additional change and growth in coming years. We’ve worked hard to be good stewards of taxpayer money, reflected in our ability to accomplish goals while not asking for a tax levy increase since 2002.

“I am confident that the completion of the transformational model we’ve put into motion will assure MHRS’s continued success in promoting community wellness, and I’m extremely hopeful for MHRS’s future.”

MHRS Board president Ken Houghtaling said Lawyer has been a major asset and he will be missed greatly. “Brent has certainly contributed to a lot of growth in our system, and he’s brought some exciting ideas to life alongside his team. We all wish him the best in the next chapter of his life.”

Lawyer worked with the MHRS board over the past few years to create a business plan and a three-year Master Strategic Plan, both of which position the local behavioral health system for collaborative working relationships with neighboring county boards. The aim is to maximize administrative and programmatic functions that afford residents greater choice in behavioral health care.

“These are very exciting initiatives that I believe will establish MHRS as a leader for progressive changes that exemplify what our strategic plan dictates,” he said.

The MHRS Board of Directors has formed a committee to search for Lawyer’s successor, led by board member Jenni Frazer of Mason. The committee’s goal is to have a new executive director selected and hired by March 2019. Lawyer plans to stay on for a transitional period, although his last day has not yet been determined.

About MHRS

Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRS) is the local board of mental health and addiction services for residents of Warren and Clinton Counties.

MHRS plans, funds and monitors services and programs for residents with mental health and addiction issues. The board contracts with agencies to provide services and programs that help individuals, families and others affected by mental illness and addiction.

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