Philly Gets First New Behavioral Health Commissioner In 12 Years

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health has its first new Commissioner in 12 years. City officials didn’t have to look far to find him, but they did anyway.

Long-time commissioner Arthur Evans left in February to become head of the American Psychological Association and the city spent nearly six months conducting a national search for a successor.

In the end, Mayor Kenney chose the deputy who’s been the acting commissioner since Evans left.

“And that person is David Jones,” he said.

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The choice got a standing ovation from providers and employees of the billion dollar agency who packed the mayor’s reception room.

Jones outlined plans for tackling perhaps the toughest issue in his portfolio, the opioid epidemic.

“I’m confident the recommendations put forward by the mayor’s task force will be implemented and we’ll bend the curve,” he said.

Jones says the department has already increased treatment slots and medically assisted treatment.

The department also deals with homelessness and intellectual disabilities.

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