Governor Kemp announced this week that a 24-person commission has been named under the guidelines of a House Bill passed this year.

Kemp named nine appointees to the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission along with Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Speaker David Ralston, who each named six appointees, and Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Harold Melton, who announced three appointees.

“This legislative session, we allocated $20 million for local health departments to better treat mental health issues and doubled funding for the successful APEX program in Georgia schools to help students in crisis,” said Governor Kemp. “Working together with communities and families, this commission of legislators, judges, subject-matter experts, and citizens will now examine how the state can improve access and delivery of behavioral health services for the people of Georgia.”

“Mental health is an issue that impacts everyone in our state regardless of socio-economics, race, age or gender,” Lieutenant Governor Duncan said. “Because of this, it is vital we take whatever steps necessary to evaluate the things we are doing right, as well as those things we could improve upon here in Georgia. I applaud the members of this commission who are ready and willing to provide their time and expertise to this important issue. I have no doubt their recommendations will be insightful and meaningful as we work together to ensure our best days are ahead of us.”

“Mental health is a critical quality of life issue to the citizens of our state,” said Speaker David Ralston. “Led by Chairman Kevin Tanner, I know that this distinguished group of legislators and citizens will work together to improve service delivery throughout our behavioral health system. I thank Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan and my colleagues in both the House and Senate for adopting this collaborative approach to achieve better outcomes.”

The Commission was created by House Bill 514.

Governor Kemp’s Appointees

▪ Rep. Kevin Tanner – Chairman
▪ Dr. Sarah Vinson
▪ Dr. DeJuan White
▪ Dr. Michael Robert Yochelson
▪ Jason Downey
▪ Dr. Joseph Bona
▪ Dr. Karen Bailey
▪ Miriam Shook
▪ Nora Lott Haynes

Lieutenant Governor Duncan’s Appointees

▪ Sen. Renee Unterman
▪ Sen. Donzella James
▪ Sheriff Andy Hester
▪ Wayne Senfeld
▪ Brenda Fitzgerald
▪ Cindy Levi

Speaker Ralston’s Appointees

▪ Rep. Don Hogan
▪ Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver
▪ Chief of Police Louis Dekmar
▪ Gwen Skinner
▪ Kim Jones
▪ Judge Brenda Weaver

Chief Justice Harold Melton’s Appointees

▪ Justice Michael Boggs
▪ Judge Brian J. Amero
▪ Judge Sara S. Harris

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Good job Governor!!!
    I think a good member for the commission would be Rep. Buckner. She’s a friend and has a background in health issues. Keep up the good work.

  2. Congratulations Governor this is a great step in the right direction. I would love to work with this project if there is availability. I’m a client executive BH/EAP with Anthem BCBS here in Georgia, licensed professional counselor and 20 years of experience in mental health.

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