MOUNT VERNON — Wendy Williams, executive director of Mental Health and Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties, told Knox County Commissioners, Monday, she will be leaving the post at the end of June.
“I wanted to say how much I have appreciated working with all of you,” Williams said.
Williams is leaving to become chief compliance officer for Southeast Inc., a mental health and drug and alcohol service provider and outpatient facility.
“I’ll be making sure they meet state and federal requirements, and will be part of the Quality Improvement team,” Williams said.
“It was a tumultuous time when you took over and you had a stabilizing effect,” Commission President Allen Stockberger said. “You leave the agency better than you found it.”
The other commissioners also praised Williams’ time at the agency.
“Your successor will have a tough act to follow,” Commissioner Teresa Bemiller said.
“I’ve enjoyed working with you in the short time I’ve been here,” said Commissioner Roger Reed.
Williams has been executive director of Mental Health and Recovery for six years and was associate director for almost two years before that.
She said the post should be advertised by the end of the week and the board hopes to have a successor in place by the time she leaves.
As she gets ready to leave, Williams said the funding situation concerns her, especially with regards to addiction services. Budget cuts have made it difficult to maintain services at a time when prescription drug addiction and heroin are growing problems.
“Thanks to reserves we had we have been able to maintain services, but we’re waiting to see what happens with health care reform and with state funding,” she said. “At least we still have services; other places haven’t been so fortunate.”