Medical and executive director of Treatment and Recovery Center stepping down

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Interim leaders already named

Dr. George Thompson, executive director and medical director of the Treatment and Recovery Center of Douglas County, is stepping down from the role, according to a news release Friday.

The change at the helm comes amid a number of challenges the TRC has faced. The center has missed its anticipated summer opening by several months.

“(Behavioral Health Partners) has already elected to have Dr. Cord Huston, Staff Psychiatrist and Director of the University of Kansas’s Adult Psychiatry Residency at Bert Nash (Community Mental Health) Center, serve as Interim Medical Director with back-up support by Dr. Nana Dadson, Bert Nash Center’s Chief Medical Officer,” according to the release.

“Executive leadership will be shared by the BHP Board of Directors in collaboration with support of the Bert Nash Center and the TRC’s current leadership team under the direction of Santana Taylor, Director of Operations.”

Dr. George Thompson

Thompson shared his plans with the board of directors of BHP on Nov. 9, according to the release, “citing a desire for more time to finish his second book, while continuing to speak and consult on the importance of psychological and neurobiological safety in organizations.”

“While there have been challenges to opening the TRC, I am honored to have played a leadership role in establishing this incredible facility for the Douglas County community,” Thompson said in the release.

“After obtaining a private psychiatric hospital license, hiring 40+ staff, and increasing annual funding for the Center from $3 million to $9 million, it is time for me to pass the torch to the next team which will continue the good work we’ve started,” he continued, according to the release. “The TRC is in good hands, and I’m looking forward to seeing its doors open to the public very soon.” 

The Nov. 9 Douglas County Commission agenda packet included a long list of outstanding deadlines and deliverables related to the TRC’s opening. Those include training, staffing, workflow, billing, budgeting, information technology, insurance, translation services, credentialing, inventory, regulatory compliance, and agreements related to the lease, operations and prefunding.

Thompson did not attend that meeting. BHP Board Chair Cindy Yulich said he was out of town with family.

Yulich said in Friday’s news release that the board has been fortunate to have had the chance to benefit from Thompson’s leadership over the past year.

“His compassion for those experiencing behavioral health crises is unmatched, and his thoughtful and considerate approach to management will be sincerely missed,” Yulich said. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” 

“The TRC is part of a bold vision for our community—a transformative vision in which all members of our community, including our most vulnerable, are able to access behavioral healthcare in times of crisis,” Bert Nash CEO and BHP board member Patrick Schmitz said in the release. “Realizing this vision takes time and, of course, there will be challenges along the way, but each step gets us closer to opening day.”

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