Frontier Health Senior Vice President Joe Page has been appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to serve as chairman of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services's Statewide Planning Council, Commissioner Doug Varney announced.
“Joe’s individual characteristics and professional qualifications were exceptional, and I believe his participation is certain to leave a positive impact on the Council and the work it does,” Governor Haslam said.
Mr. Page has served on the Statewide Council for more than 10 years and as vice chairman for the past four years.
“My sincere thanks to Governor Haslam for his leadership in helping to advance the needs for those who seek treatment and therapies for themselves and loved ones and those in need,” said Mr. Page. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Tennessee who live every day with mental health and substance use needs.”
Mr. Page has been with Frontier Health since 1985 and has served as senior vice president of Adult Services since 2011. Prior to that, he served as Division Director of Adult Outpatient Services. He began his career as a counselor in 1975 at the Bristol, Tennessee YMCA. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Virginia Intermont College and a master’s in sociology from East Tennessee State University.
Mr. Page is a licensed marital and family therapist In Tennessee, and has also worked as a clinical therapist, a coordinator for children and youth programs, an associate director for children and youth programs, and a division director of children and youth programs including intervention, prevention, and substance abuse services.
“I have known Joe Page for many years and consider him to be an accomplished and dedicated professional serving Tennesseans seeking behavioral health services,” said Commissioner Varney. “Joe is a lifelong advocate for all our citizens, and his willingness to take on this important leadership role is an extension of his passion to serve.”
The Council wishes to thank outgoing State Chairman Paul Fuchcar for his many years of service. Mr. Fuchcar is executive director of The Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Inc. in Chattanooga. Under his leadership, more Tennesseans have had access to mental health and substance abuse services.
“Over the past four years the membership of the Regional Councils has almost doubled and the voice that comes from these Councils is a strong advocacy for mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Mr. Fuchcar. “The Statewide Council and Regional Council system have become much more empowered, just as the volunteers of our state history, ready to act on behalf of the citizens of Tennessee that we represent.”
Laura Berlind, current council member, and former chair of the Children’s Committee, will assume the role of vice chair. She holds a master's in public policy degree from Harvard University. She is executive director of Renewal House, a community treating addicted women and their children located in Nashville.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Planning Council is an independent body made up of mental health and substance abuse service providers, consumers, family members, advocates, and other stakeholders.
Its mission is to advise the Department about the service system, policy development, legislation, budget requests, system evaluation, and monitoring. The council has a minimum of 17 members, not including ex officio members, appointed by the commissioner for three-year terms.
Among its duties and responsibilities, the council endorses legislation and appropriations for services and then advocates for those recommendations. Citizens from across Tennessee serve on Department Councils at the regional and statewide level in an ongoing effort to access priorities, programs, and community needs.