Latest News

Meet John Robertson, Regional Hospital Administrator for West Central Georgia Regional Hospital in Columbus

October 8, 2019

John Robertson joined our team in July 2007 as the Hospital Administrator of West Central Georgia Regional Hospital (WCGRH) when we were a division of the Georgia Department of Human Resources.  Prior to joining us, John had over 20+ years of executive level management experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors of the health care industry, primarily in the state of Alabama. 

Our Optimistic Future

October 8, 2019

It appears that cooler temperatures have finally arrived. Fall is at our doorstep, and I think we all welcome the change. I am eager to share my optimism about the future, but first I want to offer a reflection of two important events that DBHDD has hosted in recent weeks. Most recently, the Behavioral Health division hosted the Annual Behavioral Health Symposium, welcoming more than 500 participants from around the state to Callaway Gardens. This gathering is a robust opportunity to learn, grow and connect with a wide range of educational opportunities in every area of service delivery across the life span.

Meet Charles Li, M.D., Regional Hospital Administrator for Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta

September 10, 2019

Charles Li, M.D., joined the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities as the regional hospital administrator of Georgia Regional Hospital – Savannah on January 2, 2006.  Prior taking this position, he was the corporate clinical director for Howell Care Centers, a non-profit organization serving 550 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina, and previously worked as a psychiatrist in both inpatient and outpatient settings and as a clinical professor/research scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at East Tennessee State University.  Dr. Li has served DBHDD in numerous capacities, including director of hospital operations and assistant commissioner for developmental disabilities.  Currently, he is the regional hospital administrator for Georgia Regional Hospital – Atlanta.  He earned a doctor’s degree in Medicine from Nanjing Medical College and a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Armstrong State University.  

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10, 2019

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and today is World Suicide Prevention Day. In the last two decades, the rate of suicide has increased by 16 percent in Georgia and 30 percent across the nation.  Recently, high-profile suicides covered the news in our state, but the tragedy of suicide occurs every day in Georgia.  One death by suicide is too many, but I want to offer a message of hope.  Suicide is preventable, and everyone has a role to play in preventing it. 

Meet Andy Mannich, Regional Hospital Administrator for Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah

August 6, 2019

H. Andrew Mannich, or Andy as he prefers to be called, joined the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities team on May 1, 2013, as the Regional Hospital Administrator for Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah. Prior to joining our team, Andy was the Chief Operating Officer for the Saint Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, a 180-bed long-term state psychiatric hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gardens of Change: A Vision for the Future

August 6, 2019

DBHDD has been at the leading edge of innovation in several areas, and I am excited to share an update on important work we are advancing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  In March, we launched our inaugural Supported Employment Forum at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain.   The vision is clear; Georgia plans to triple the number of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are engaged in competitive integrated employment.  With guidance from an organization from Washington State known as Wise (formerly the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment), this engaging and empowering gathering culminated with the formation of a diverse state-level, interagency leadership team and six regional grassroots leadership teams called Gardens of Change.  These teams will serve a key role in our long-term investment in employment for all Georgians with I/DD. 

At The Intersection: Where Practice Meets Culture

August 2, 2019

By Dr. Hetal Patel, Regional Services Administrator, DBHDD Region 1 

A woman in her early 40s, highly educated, independent, with stable home and good job had all she could ask for.  She was surrounded by love and support.  Her life was as good as it gets, some would say.  What reason could she possibly have to cry many days, but she cried many days for no known reason, struggled with sleeping problems despite of doing yoga and meditation.  There were no reasons for feelings of depression and sadness to creep in her life, but they were finding their way in her head and heart.

The Journey is Ongoing

July 9, 2019

When people think about our state’s safety net for people with psychiatric disorders, they may think about Georgia’s five state hospitals. Our hospitals are an essential element of the safety net continuum. They provide a vital resource for individuals with serious behavioral health issues. DBHDD’s hospital system has served as the cornerstone of Georgia’s mental health landscape for nearly 200 years, beginning with the opening of Central State Hospital in Milledgeville in 1842. Our second hospital, Gracewood, (now a part of East Central Regional Hospital in Augusta) was built in 1921. Like most states, Georgia continued to expand its hospital portfolio throughout most of the 20th century.

Gilbert Sutton, Jr: Central State Hospital's New RHA

July 5, 2019

Dr. Emile Risby recently announced the appointment of Gilbert Sutton, Jr. as the new Central State Hospital Regional Hospital Administrator.  Mr. Sutton or Gil as he prefers to be called began his tenure with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities on Monday, June 3, 2019. 

Enhancing Customer Service at DBHDD

June 4, 2019

Summer heat is upon us, but our desire to serve Georgia’s safety net needs remains strong. As we approach a new season, I wanted to share information about several initiatives underway to enhance customer service at DBHDD.  Our customers are why we do this work, and our primary customer is you: staff, providers, partners, elected officials, the public, and most importantly, the individuals and families we serve.  We have tried to improve our active listening across all groups to address your interests and concerns. Many of you have provided important input! Attending to your recommendations has resulted in three important areas of re-engineering: Redesign of the DBHDD website; reduction of administrative burdens on providers; and enhancements to our approach to provider relations.