The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD Partners with Ascend HR Corp for Chief Medical Officer Search

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Largest behavioral and developmental disability community center in Texas treats nearly 80,000 patients each year partners with Ascend HR Corp | HR Maximizer Inc on Chief Medical Officer (CMO) search.

Portrait of Wayne Young, Chief Executive Officer of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD

Wayne Young, Chief Executive Officer of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD

"We have intentionally been pretty broad in terms of experience requirements for [the CMO] position. We want to cast a broad net to be able to find that right candidate,” said Wayne Young, CEO for the Harris Center

Ascend HR Corp, the parent company of HR Maximizer Inc, a leading healthcare recruitment firm, has been tasked with leading the search for a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). From respite care to home and community-based services, to the Psychiatric emergency program and the mental health jail diversion program, The Harris Center’s 2,300 employees assist thousands each year by coordinating caring, compassionate support for people with behavioral health and IDD needs.

The CMO will provide leadership and direction for the provider services of all 86 sites of The Harris Center in order to provide safe and effective care to their patient population. “We have intentionally been pretty broad in terms of experience requirements for [the CMO] position. We want to cast a broad net to be able to find that right candidate,” said Wayne Young, CEO for the Harris Center. “Obviously, we’re a large, sophisticated behavioral health system. It will take somebody pretty adept with a significant level of clinical skill and administrative leadership experience,” to be successful in the CMO role.

The CMO will also collaborate with stakeholders and peers in the C-Suite as well as divisional vice presidents in order to establish and execute policies that will directly impact clinical services, contract performance, and regulatory compliance. “I think of the CMO role as a key collaborator, not only internally, but also externally,” Keena Pace, COO for the Harris Center stated. “And what I mean by this is the ability to continue all the current collaborations that we have. This is one of the reasons that the Harris Center has been so successful.”

“One of the things we noticed early on about Wayne and his team was their commitment to making this CMO search wide and diverse, which aligns perfectly with our values and approach as a company,” said Rollis Fontenot III, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of HR Maximizer, Inc. “They are also very forward-thinking in their approach by using the latest in video and technology to create awareness. These were great indicators we are a great potential partner for them.”

Requirements for the CMO position include graduation from an approved college of medicine with an M.D. or D.O., completion of a general psychiatry residency, license to practice medicine and be Board Certified (or Board Eligible) in General Psychiatry.

Scott Rule, Chief Business Officer for the Harris Center stated, “I’d like to see a CMO that has energetic compassion. And when I say that I mean someone that’s going to bring positive energy to the agency in terms of delivering care, and by constructively and positively challenging the processes and technology that we employ to deliver that care.”

“The Harris Center is an organization where the employees have big hearts and brilliant minds,” added Lesleigh Robertson, VP of HR and Organizational Development. “The leaders and the employees alike strive to do what’s in the best interest of our patients at all times.” The Harris Center is committed to meeting the behavioral and intellectual/developmental needs of Harris County residents by empowering them via an accessible, integrated, and comprehensive recovery-oriented system of care.

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Leah Ramsey
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