Movers & Shakers: CEO Changes at Promises, Children’s Harbor; NABH Adds Policy Director

Promises chairman named interim CEO

Rob Waggener, the chairman of Nashville, Tennessee-based mental health and SUD treatment provider Promises Behavioral Health, has been named the company’s interim CEO.

Waggener will retain his chair post as he temporarily takes the helm of Promises, which operates 10 facilities in Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas and its home state of Tennessee.

Waggener takes over as CEO from Kirk Kureska, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.


The company is planning a search to find a permanent CEO.

Children’s Harbor picks new CEO

Alexander City, Alabama-based Children’s Harbor, which provides support and recreational services for children dealing with various conditions — including autism — has named Cathryn Outzen as its new CEO.

Outzen is coming to Children’s Harbor from the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida, where she is the director of community relations and children’s programs.


Outzen will take up her new position in May, according to the Birmingham Business Journal.

Children’s Harbor programs are offered at its retreat center on Lake Martin in Alexander City, located in the east central part of the state.

Centerstone picks new head of MAT services

Nashville, Tennessee-based nonprofit behavioral health provider Centerstone has named Jessica Harman as its director of behavioral health nursing. In her post, she will be in charge of the organization’s medication-assisted treatment programs (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD).

Harman’s prior professional experience in the industry includes having worked for Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, Illinois, and St. Louis-based health care provider St. Alexius Hospital.

Centerstone operates more than 200 locations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, in addition to Tennessee.

NABH taps new policy and regulatory affairs director

Kirsten Beronio, a veteran mental health professional with more than 20 years experience in the industry, has been chosen by the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (NABH) as its new policy and regulatory affairs director.

Beronio is a former congressional legislative assistant and previous vice president for public policy and advocacy at the nonprofit Mental Health America.

Most recently, she was the senior vice president for behavioral health care for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

UCS names new mental health director

Bennington, Vermont-based United Counseling Service (UCS), a non-profit community mental health center, has named Lori Vadakin as its director of mental health and substance use services.

Vadakin, who previously worked for UCS as an outpatient clinician in the early 2000s, will oversee administration of UCS’ mental health, substance use treatment and community rehabilitation programs.

Previously, Vadakin was the director of trauma integration services for the Vermont Permanency Initiative (VPI) Residential Treatment Center for Girls, also based in Bennington.

In addition to its Bennington location, UCS also operates a facility in Manchester. 

Colorado Consortium fills strategist position

The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention, a partnership of state and federal agencies working to combating Colorado’s opioid epidemic, has named Lindsey Sembeye as its external relations strategist.

Sembeye comes to the post after having been executive director of the Steamboat Springs-based Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, which provides substance use disorder (SUD) treatment resources to individuals in the northwest part of the state.

Simbeye will be one of four external relations strategists on a team of approximately 10 people working for the Colorado Consortium, according to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and will oversee 10 counties in northwest Colorado.

The Colorado Consortium is headquartered at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver.

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