Embark Behavioral Health Fills Out Corporate Leadership, Names New CFO

Embark Behavioral Health has named several new executives to help it continue its growth strategy after recapitalizing late last year.

The Chandler, Arizona-based youth behavioral health provider announced Tuesday it hired a new CFO and two segment leaders to strengthen its leadership team. The new hires will also help the company as it deepens its focus on value-based care and grows its outpatient offerings.

Historically, Embark Behavioral Health has been a facility-focused business that offers day programs, short-term residential care, outdoor behavioral health and long-term residential care.


“With their impressive backgrounds and leadership skills, they’ll further enhance our ability to reach the big goal we have set out on, which is to lead the way in taking teen and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide from the all-time highs of today to all-time lows by 2028,” Embark CEO Alex Stavros said in a news release.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths aged 14 to 18, according to the CDC, which also recently found that 30% of girls had seriously considered attempting suicide while 14% of boys had similar thoughts. 

Here’s a rundown of the new executives at Embark Behavioral Health:


— Darren Wight, chief financial officer: Wight will take on Embark Behavioral Health’s financial operations, including financial planning, analysis, and strategy. He was previously the CFO role at Cranial Technologies, American Vision Partners, Southwestern Eye Center and SimonMed Imaging.

— Christy Beaudin, vice president of quality and outcomes: She’s tasked with identifying the structure and investments needed for high-quality care and sustainable client outcomes at Embark, the release states. She has written or helped write over 90 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, case studies, and reports on translational science.

Stavros previously told BHB that the company’s rapid growth will be tempered by a focus on care quality, and that care quality was essential to gain the needed trust of payers to facilitate value-based care arrangements.

— Jeremy Behling, group president of outpatient clinics: The new focus on growing an outpatient services line will make Behling the operational counterpart to Residential Group President Jamie Catlett, the release states. He will be tasked with increasing access closer to where youth need mental health services.

In September, the investment firm Consonance Capital Partners closed a deal to take a controlling stake in Embark Behavioral Health and help fuel its ambitious growth plans.

The company could open as many as 60 additional outpatient centers in the next three years or so.

In 2022, the company moved its headquarters to Chandler.

Embark Behavioral Health’s growth reflects the need and opportunity to expand youth-specific behavioral health services in the U.S. Separately, the Vistria Group — one of health care’s most active private equity investors, particularly in home health and hospice care — acquired the Denver-based provider Sandstone Care in a deal reportedly valued at $200 million.

However, there is substantial scrutiny pointed toward the youth residential treatment segment. In May, a bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill meant to encourage information sharing among states and the creation of a federal working group to prevent child abuse in such settings.

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