Interim director Hill promoted to state mental health chief
The interim director in charge of publicly funded mental health services in Arkansas was promoted to director on Thursday.
Jay Hill has “done an excellent job” as interim director of the state Department of Human Services’ Division of Behavior Health Services, department Director Cindy Gillespie said.
“I’m thrilled he’s willing to take” the permanent job title, she said.
Gillespie made the announcement at a meeting of the state’s Institutional System Board, which manages the department’s mental health and youth services facilities.
Hill, 45, became interim director of the Behavioral Health Services Division in January, after the previous director, Charlie Green, resigned for a job with a private mental health and substance abuse treatment provider.
The division manages the State Hospital in Little Rock, the Arkansas Health Center near Haskell and supports mental health and substance abuse treatment programs across the state.
Before becoming interim director, Hill was in charge of the Health Center, a staterun nursing home for elderly people with mental illness and other medical needs.
When he took the interim position, his annual salary increased from $86,635 to $108,109, Human Services Department spokesman Brandi Hinkle said. The promotion to permanent director didn’t come with a pay raise, she said.
Act 913 of this year will merge the Behavioral Health Services Division with the Division of Aging and Adult Services, creating the Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Health Services.
Hill will lead that division, while Aging and Adult Services Director Craig Cloud will be in charge of a planned Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance, Gillespie said.
Cloud’s division will be in charge of facility inspections that are now conducted by several different divisions, Gillespie said. It will also study the workforce needs of the department and health care providers, she said.
She said department officials are still working on the details of the reorganization.