Harbor CEO leaving for position at national firmWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Harbor CEO Dale Shreve is leaving the Toledo-based agency this month to take the helm of a national alliance of behavioral health care agencies.
Shreve, who has been with Harbor for 33 years, including 13 years as its CEO, will move to Tallahassee, Fla., for a job as president and CEO of Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA), an association of about 130 behavioral and mental health care providers, including Harbor.
Shreve’s last day at Harbor is Jan. 22. John Betts, Harbor’s vice president of adult services, will serve as interim CEO while a national search for a replacement is conducted.
“This comes at a great time for me both personally and professionally,” Shreve said. “[Harbor is] a great organization in great shape and will continue to be successful. It’s just when this dream job and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes along, you’ve got to pull the ring and go for it.”
Shreve said he will miss Harbor, but is excited for the new challenge.
“Harbor is my baby,” Shreve said. “I’ve watched it grow and I’ve been a part of that. I’m going to miss the Toledo community. I’m going to miss the Harbor staff and board. It’s a great group of people and one that has meant a lot to me and my family.
“While [MHCA] continues to be related to health care and behavioral health care, it’s a different aspect of that. I won’t be responsible for day-to-day service activities, but I’ll be responsible to help those organizations do those services as best they can.”
MHCA hosts meetings for professional development and networking.
“By meeting with organizations from different parts of the country that are addressing similar concerns but don’t see themselves as competitors, it allows members to pull together the resources they need to be successful at home,” Shreve said.
The 58-year-old Shreve, a Palmyra, Mich., native, started working at Harbor in 1979 as its assistant director. It was called Community Mental Health Center West then and had about 20 employees and a budget of less than $500,000, Shreve said. Today, Harbor has more than 400 employees in 12 Northwest Ohio locations and a budget of $25 million.
“It was a much different organization when I joined,” Shreve said. “It’s had different names and different roles, but I’ve been here that whole time.”
In 1985, Community Mental Health Center West became the West Center. Then West Center, which served primarily adults, consolidated with the Cummings-Zucker Center, which served primarily children and families, to form Harbor Behavioral Health Care. In 2009, the organization became simply Harbor.
The organization has grown beyond behavioral health to include family medicine, adult day care services for individuals with developmental disabilities, vocational programs for individuals with barriers to employment, programs for children with autism and their families, employee assistance and wellness programs, school partnerships and more.
“As we have grown, we’re serving more people and providing a broader range of services and doing a better job integrating those services and trying to address the complete needs of that individual,” Shreve said.
Harbor is one of five “Medicaid health homes” in Ohio.
“It’s not a physical home, but the concept of wraparound care, making sure you have a ‘home’ where things get centralized,” Shreve said. “So often people with mental health problems don’t get the other care they need, so this health home effort is how we’re trying to pull this together. It’s an integrated care approach I believe is so critical in terms of making sure we don’t just talk about someone’s depression or schizophrenia, but tie it into everything else going on with that person.”
Betts, a Bryan native, has worked in the social service field for 39 years, 10 of those in his current position at Harbor.
Shreve and Betts met when they both worked at Harbor when it was known as West Center in the mid-1980s. Betts went on to work at several other social service organizations, including The Zepf Center, Quadco Rehabilitation Center, Lima State Hospital and Lima Juvenile Detention Facility, before returning to Harbor.
“Dale is a good guy, a very good guy,” Betts said. “He’s made Harbor what it is, which in my opinion is the No. 1 behavioral health facility in the surrounding area and, quite frankly, in Ohio. It’s because of his leadership and his vision and his innovation that Harbor is where it’s at.
“He’s definitely going to have a major positive impact on a larger scale at Mental Health Corporations of America by providing his talents to all the different providers throughout the country. Although sad for Harbor, I think it’s an excellent move for him and for the profession.”
Shreve said he is confident in Betts’ leadership ability at Harbor.
“I’ve known John a long time,” Shreve said. “He knows the organization and the staff knows him, so I think he’s very well equipped to step in and keep things going. He’s got the full support of the Harbor board and staff.”
Betts holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and physical education from Bluffton College and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Bowling Green State University. He also finished his doctoral coursework in psychophysiology at the University of Toledo, but never wrote his dissertation after deciding not to go into teaching after all.
“I’ve always been focused on the whole person,” Betts said. “That’s why I came back to Harbor and that’s why I’m here. I believe very strongly in the mission and vision and values that Harbor holds, which is to provide health, hope, happiness and opportunity for the people we serve and to be the best partner and provider of choice for the people we work with and the people we collaborate with.
“It’s somewhat daunting (to become interim CEO) because you’re taking over from someone who’s done such a nice job for so long, but there’s a lot of new and innovative things going on with Harbor and that makes it exciting.”
Betts is confident Harbor’s future is bright, since Shreve helped build a strong structure that will stand firm regardless of who is at its helm.
“That is Dale’s legacy at Harbor,” Betts said. “He’s built a structure with staff that’s outstanding and a depth of supervisors, managers and administrators that are going to continue Harbor’s mission, vision and values. And I’m sure we will obtain a leader that will continue the concept of innovation so we can continue to lead in the mental health field.”