Carrington & Carrington Seeks Chief Behavioral Health Officer for Cook County Health in Illinois

January 6, 2023 – Carrington & Carrington Diversity Executive Search has been enlisted to find a chief behavioral health officer (CBHO) for Cook County Health (CCH), a safety net health system for low-income patients in the Chicago area. The CBHO will serve the organization as both the lead on behavioral health strategy and program development.

The CBHO will be accountable for guiding the Cook County Health executive team and directly interfacing with all levels of staff to further behavioral health resources and solutions throughout Cook County and leading CCH’s Office of Behavioral Health, said Carrington & Carrington.

In addition, this position will provide leadership with a focus on the overall behavioral health from a population health perspective across the health system including oversight of the growth of inpatient services through the development of a new inpatient psychiatric unit, outpatient services though expanded service coverage, community-based services, substance abuse services, and justice-involved patient services. As a member of the medical staff, the CBHO will be required to provide direct patient care.

Discerning Best Practice

The CBHO is also charged with working with labor relations to discern best practice when necessary, said Carrington & Carrington. The individual must provide behavioral health leadership throughout the county to improve accessibility and increase equity of behavioral health care in the community and serve as the chief behavioral health contact for external agencies – including task forces and county committees. Spearheading initiatives to reduce stigma associated with behavioral health and wellness in the community is a key aspect of this role.

Cook County Health’s chief behavioral health officer is also expected to partner with the senior behavioral health officer to guide executive leadership in setting and driving organizational vision, operational strategy, and hiring needs. Identifying and participating in discussions and negotiations for new behavioral health initiatives and sustain support for existing programs is also expected.

Oversight and management of developing, responding to, and implementing behavioral health grants and contracts is an integral part of the CBHO role. The individual will also be expected to analyze proposals and partnering opportunities, advising senior leadership on appropriateness and applicability for Cook County Health. He or she must also partner and collaborate with the employee assistance program, corporate office, and other departments regarding behavioral health issues and initiatives.

Key Requirements

Candidates for this role must be a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine in psychiatry or a related specialty, said the search firm. They should have six years of experience in a clinical practice; experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings is preferred Six years of behavioral health management experience is also required.

Related: Carrington & Carrington Retained by Feeding America to Recruit Chief Marketing & Digital Experience Officer

Experience with public health institutions and initiatives is essential. Prospects must have experience working in a safety net health care system, experience working with the needs of vulnerable populations who have chronic or complex bio- psychosocial needs, and experience working with justice involved and dually diagnosed populations.

Founded in 1835, Cook County Health provides a wide variety of healthcare services to Cook County residents regardless of their ability to pay. Its facilities include John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, Cermak Health Services, Oak Forest Hospital, Provident Hospital, Cook County Department of Public Health and the Ambulatory and Community Health Network, as well as the Ruth Rothstein CORE Center. CCH oversees a comprehensive, integrated system of healthcare throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County through its seven affiliates: three hospitals, a growing ambulatory and community health network, a public health department, a correctional healthcare facility, and an outpatient infectious disease center. It is overseen by an independent board.


Carrington & Carrington, with offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Memphis, was founded in 1979 and specializes in the recruitment and placement of African Americans, Latinos, women, LGBTQ, and other diverse professionals. It places middle management and senior level executives across various industries and functional areas. Co-founded by Willie and Marian Carrington, the firm ranks as one of the most respected African American-owned search firms in the nation.

Mr. Carrington has played and continues to play a significant role in increasing the representation of diverse professionals in major companies including banking, finance, manufacturing, and utilities. Prior to this, he was executive director of Inroads/Chicago and an auditor for the former CPA firm Arthur Andersen & Company.

Ms. Carrington is heavily focused in the firm’s healthcare, academic, and non-profit sectors. She was previously a human resources and operations executive with Allstate Insurance. She focuses in large part on the healthcare, academic, and non-profit sectors.

Related: Carrington & Carrington Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for McDonald’s

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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