By Marion Davis
CRANSTON – Gov. Donald L. Carcieri has nominated Craig S. Stenning as director of the R.I. Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, where he has been acting director since June. The nomination is subject to the advice and consent of the state Senate.
MHRH oversees a public and private network of programs involving mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities, and operates the Eleanor Slater State Hospital in Cranston.
Stenning has nearly 40 years’ experience in this field. He started the CODAC Treatment Centers in 1971, and served as the program’s CEO for 28 years as it became the state’s largest outpatient substance abuse program. He joined the state government in 2000, as Rhode Island’s first executive director of behavioral health care, and last year, he spent five months working on the state’s Global Medicaid Waiver application before taking the helm of the MHRH.
“Craig has spent his career serving the public with integrity and distinction, and I am confident he will continue to serve with excellence as we move ahead with reform throughout MHRH,” Carcieri said in a statement last Monday. “He has demonstrated a unique ability to communicate effectively and honestly with our community agencies and has initiated significant reform in both behavioral health and developmental disabilities.”
Stenning would report to Gary D. Alexander – now the chief of the state Department of Human Services (DHS) – whom the governor nominated on Feb. 6 to serve as director of the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the umbrella organization that oversees the MHRH, DHS, R.I. Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA) and R.I. Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). (READ MORE)
Additional news and information from the R.I. Governor’s Office are available at www.governor.ri.gov. Additional information from the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) – the R.I. Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals (MHRH), the R.I. Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA), the R.I. Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and the R.I. Department of Human Services (DHS) – is available at www.eohhs.ri.gov.