Burrell Behavioral Health is bringing former local community leader Clay Goddard back to the area, as part of a two-executive leadership announcement for its southwest regional operations.
Burrell and its parent company, Brightli Inc., have hired Goddard as president of the organization’s Southwest Region largely comprising Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties, according to a news release. Elizabeth Avery, Burrell's executive vice president of community services, has been named to the new role of chief operating officer for the region.
Goddard, who starts Sept. 19, is joining Burrell after around 18 months as senior director of public health transformation at the Missouri Foundation for Health. Before that, he served as director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department since 2017, notably during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have spent my 26-year career in public health as a passionate advocate for health equity, evidence-based public health practice and public health innovation. I am grateful for the opportunity to step into this new role as president,” Goddard said in the release. “I am conscious of the diverse health care issues in our area, including the urban and rural divide. I am comfortable in both settings, viewing myself as a bridge-builder between the two.
"This role allows us the unique opportunity to more deeply integrate into the areas we serve.”
In his position as the first full-time Southwest Region president, Goddard takes over for Adam Andreassen, who is retaining his position of systemwide COO for Burrell, said Matthew Lemmon, vice president of communications for the nonprofit.
Goddard and Avery will report to Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis, who also is CEO of Brightli.
"Clay’s record of leadership and advocacy for mental health is incomparable. His experience will be invaluable as we continue to invest in the people and communities of our Southwest Region," Davis said in the release. "In her four-plus years at Burrell, Elizabeth has established Burrell’s school-based team as the gold standard in our state for integrated, in-school behavioral health services."
Avery started at Burrell in 2018 as vice president of school-based services.
Brightli was established as the parent company of Burrell earlier this year, when it combined with Preferred Family Healthcare Inc., according to past reporting.
Together, Burrell and PFH employ nearly 5,000 people, providing primary and behavioral health, substance-use treatment and other services at about 200 locations in four states, according to the release. Burrell currently has three regional operations, said Lemmon. Fiscal 2021 revenue for Burrell was $167 million, while PFH’s total was $137 million, according to officials.
In his new position, Goddard also is in charge of certain mental health and substance-use recovery services under the PFH umbrella in southern Missouri and northeast Oklahoma, according to the release.
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