Former Greene County health dept. director takes… Leave a comment

News-Leader staff  |  Springfield News-Leader

Burrell Behavioral Health has named Clay Goddard the president of its southwest region and Elizabeth Avery the chief operating officer of its southwest region, the organization announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon.

Since retiring from the Springfield-Greene County Health department in 2021, Goddard has served as the senior director of public health transformation for the Missouri Foundation for Health. Avery was previously executive vice president of community services.

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As president, Goddard will lead strategic and operational functions in Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties, as well as in the Preferred Family Healthcare system in southern Missouri and northeast Oklahoma, according to the press release.

“I have spent my 26-year career in public health as a passionate advocate for health equity, evidence-based public health practice and public health innovation. I am grateful for the opportunity to step into this new role as president,” Goddard said. “I am conscious of the diverse healthcare issues in our area, including the urban and rural divide. I am comfortable in both settings, viewing myself as a bridge-builder between the two. This role allows us the unique opportunity to more deeply integrate into the areas we serve.”

Goddard’s first day in his new position will be Monday, Sept. 19.

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“We are incredibly excited to hire Clay as President in our Southwest Region, and especially grateful that this leader is a long-standing Burrell board member; one who understands the unique needs of the communities and counties he will serve,” said Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis, who is also CEO of Brightli, Burrell’s parent company. “Clay’s record of leadership and advocacy for mental health is incomparable. His experience will be invaluable as we continue to invest in the people and communities of our Southwest Region.”

Avery, who joined Burrell in 2018 as vice president of school-based services, will oversee day-to-day operations for Brightli’s southwest region which includes more than 1,600 employees between Burrell and PFH, according to the press release. The southwest region is the largest of Brightli’s five geographic regions.

“In her four-plus years at Burrell, Elizabeth has established Burrell’s school-based team as the gold standard in our state for integrated, in-school behavioral health services,” Davis said. “Her clinical expertise, leadership and commitment to quality care make her the perfect choice to lead operations in our largest region.”

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