Center for Living makes staff changes, expands services

Mental Health agency serves three counties

The Mid-Columbia Center for Living, Wasco, Sherman and Hood River counties’ community mental health, addictions and developmental disabilities service provider, announces numerous new staff assignments including medical director, deputy director and managers, plus expanded medical services and hours of operations.

Dan Ferber, MD, was recently appointed medical director for the agency. Ferber is board-certified in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry, and has worked in community mental health clinics in the Gorge the past 19 years. Ferber’s background includes work at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Barb Seatter, MCCFL executive director the past eight years, said, “Dan is one of the most experienced child psychiatrists in the state. We are very pleased he has accepted the medical director role for our agency. He is a great addition to our leadership team.”

Al Barton, part of MCCFL’s leadership team the past 10 years, was promoted to deputy director in December following the retirement of Ramona Ropek. Barton is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 20 years of clinical and managerial experience in a variety of mental health settings, levels of care, and populations. He has been instrumental in developing the intensive treatment services array for people with serious mental illness, including Mobile Crisis, Jail Diversion, and Assertive Community Treatment. When not at MCCFL, he can be found outdoors hiking, cycling, or cross-country skiing as a ski patroller.

Monique Adams, master’s in social work, was recently promoted to clinical services manager, replacing Al Barton. Adams has worked for MCCFL over 15 years in various roles, most recently supervising the Housing Assistance and Supports and Adult Mental Health Initiative aimed at keeping people from homelessness and out of higher levels of care. She has extensive experience navigating levels of care across the state and specializes in working with adults with complex mental health issues. A press release states that Adams brings a unique perspective to MCCFL’s management team due to her recent direct service and leadership at the program level.

Shira Skybinskyy, licensed clinical social worker, has developed and implemented MCCFL’s expanded mobile crisis services the past two years. According to a press release due to her great success with that program, Skybinkskyy was promoted to lead the Children’s Services team at MCCFL, particularly crisis and intensive services for children and youth. In addition to her work with adults, Skybinkskyy worked with at-risk youth and families for many years, served as supervisor of an adoption/reunification program at a community mental health agency, and director of a women’s prison treatment program.

Janie Popour-Hogue, licensed professional counselor, master addiction counselor, certified alcohol and drug counselor III, has been serving as the clinical services manager for integrated mental health and addictions treatment the past three years. Popour-Hogue, dually credentialed in mental health and addictions, has worked in behavioral health for more than 30 years specializing in addiction, co-occurring disorders, and trauma. She has experience in program development including integrated outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential programs, and has served as the director of a 48-bed women’s co-occurring residential program. Popour-Hogue said she is passionate about outcomes management, trauma informed treatment and is a Sanctuary Model trainer.

Seatter said the organization is committed to providing excellence in outpatient behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse treatment in the Columbia Gorge. As one of 13 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in the state of Oregon, MCCFL clinics in The Dalles and in Hood River have started conducting medical screenings and treatment for chronic medical conditions for the people the agency serves with substance use and mental heath conditions.

“As a CCBHC, we are able to serve more individuals in our communities, in part due to the expansion of the Affordable Care Act,” Seatter said. “We are introducing more prevention and wellness activities that will enable the people we serve to live longer, healthier lives.”

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