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On Thursday, Governor Jared Polis announced the appointment of Dannette Smith as the new Commissioner of Colorado Behavioral Health Administration, effective from March 18th. This news comes after Dr. Morgan Medlock was fired from her position as commissioner earlier this year due to racial animosity. While some lawmakers criticized her tenure for not meeting the agency’s goals, Michelle Barnes, who is the executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, served as interim head of BHA after Medlock’s departure.
Dannette Smith has an impressive 30 years of experience working in human services and most recently served as chief executive officer of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. In Nebraska, she led a task force to improve the state’s behavioral health system. Smith expressed her excitement about joining the team and stated that her intention is to break down barriers to care for Coloradans while working towards achieving Governor Polis’ vision for a ‘Colorado For All’.
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