Henderson County Health Department Hires New Behavioral Health System Coordinator

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The Henderson County Department of Public Health is proud to announce it has named Jodi Grabowski as the Behavioral Health System Coordinator. It is a role intended to support and coordinate a formal community collaborative that will sustain and improve the local system of care model of prevention, intervention, and treatment for behavioral health needs (mental health and/or substance use) in Henderson County.

The concept and necessity of the position evolved from multiple community health assessments over the years that identified substance abuse and mental health as priorities. Given the inherent linkages and common challenges identified by action teams between substance abuse and mental health, the Henderson County Partnership for Health strategically merged the groups into a unified effort that is now known as the Behavioral Health Summit.

The bold vision of the Summit group paired with significant community expectations led to practical insights about system level data and analysis that would be needed for objective measurement and implementation of new evidence-based strategies on a large scale. Those foundational requirements exceeded the capacity of individual agencies, so the group appealed to Henderson County to fund a coordinator position to support the collaborative’s work. Henderson County Commissioners recognized this need and provided critical financial support for this advanced system level vision to improve local health outcomes.

Grabowski brings a diverse experience base to the Behavioral Health Summit effort that includes working as a clinician at TREND Community Mental Health for five years and at Park Ridge Health (now Advent Health) for 17 years in various roles connected to community education, outreach, wellness and physician services. Next, she joined Tapestry Eating Disorder Treatment Centers as program director and in business development. Her most recent position was at NC Brookhaven Behavioral Health in Asheville as the ACTT (Assertive Community Treatment Team) Lead.

Her education includes a B.A. Psychology from Georgia Southern University, a M.A.C.P. (Master of Arts Counseling Psychology) at the University of North Florida and Licensed Psychological Associate (master’s level psychologist).

Grabowski stated that her objectives for the job include identifying and removing barriers in our current behavioral health system, providing a neutral space for collection of data and examining outcomes and facilitating efforts to examine best practices and opportunities for implementing new programs and services.

“I was drawn to the opportunity to impact my community on a broad scale,” Grabowski said. “I believe my experience in both clinical and administrative work has me uniquely qualified for this role. Henderson County has been my home since 1994. I care deeply about my community, and it’s important to me that I contribute in a meaningful way.”

She stated that mental health and substance use issues rarely exist in a vacuum for an individual. “If a person also experiences poverty, housing instability and lack of safety, these issues contribute to their inability to receive care or to take advantage of care available to them. In addition, physical wellness that is affected by activity, nutrition and nicotine addiction plays an important role in this intricate web that creates overall well-being,” she said.

Health Director Steve Smith calls this groundbreaking territory for any community. “The effort represents one of the most innovative and comprehensive approaches for meaningful health improvement that I have experienced in 25 years of public health service,” he said. “The Henderson County Partnership for Health and the Behavioral Health Summit are providing essential leadership for a shared community vision to improve our local system of care for behavioral health needs. The investment and support of that vision by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, Henderson County Board of Health and all involved community partners will define a new era. Our community said this was important and we’re acting on that mandate.”