Lee Johnson, Region 6 Regional Coordinator
ATLANTA, GA - Earlier this year Georgia added a sixth region to its system of care for people with mental illness, addictive diseases, and developmental disabilities to provide more localized services, and today the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) announced that Leland “Lee” Johnson will lead the newly formed Region 6 as Regional Coordinator.
“Lee truly understands the mission, vision and values of our agency and will help us bring better, more localized services to west Georgia,” said DBHDD Commissioner Frank E. Shelp.
The new regional model was geographically designed to provide a more focused, effective service system. The old system divided Georgia into five regions that were designed to accommodate a wide range of services under the former Department of Human Resources.
Before the realignment, two regions - Region 2 and Region 3 - had more than 50 percent of persons in the state of Georgia served in developmental disability programs; Region 3 had 400 providers compared to 140 providers in other regions; Region 4 had three state hospitals in its catchment area; Region 5 had four state hospitals; and several regions had Community Service Boards (CSB) that were served by hospitals outside of their regions. Now, the reconstruction allows each state hospital to serve one region, providing better integration of hospitals and community services. There are no breaks in CSB service areas and each CSB now interfaces with only one hospital and regional office.
By adding an additional region, consumers will benefit from reduced hospitalization due to a more focused approach on community-based services, improved quality of services and easier access to regional offices.
“I am extremely excited about helping to provide Georgians with the resources they need in Region 6,” said Lee Johnson, Regional 6 Coordinator. “DBHDD is committed to making this transition successful and seamless. I am honored they chose me to make the planning process a reality.”
In 2008, Johnson previously served the former Department of Human Resources as the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Director and maintained that position through the reorganization and establishment of DBHDD in July 2009. Johnson will officially start his new role on Monday, September 13, 2010.