Richard Harris retires, again

To: Addictions and Mental Health Services Interested Parties
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., OHA Director

Richard Harris

Richard Harris

Today I share news of the January retirement of Richard Harris, director of the Addictions and Mental Health Division.

Richard has been a truly outstanding leader at AMH and OHA during more than three years of service.

As many of you know, he left retirement from Central City Concern in Portland to guide AMH during a time of great change and challenge for our agency. His leadership has been innovative, thoughtful and inspirational. Among his many accomplishments are hiring the superintendent at the Oregon State Hospital, Greg Roberts, and overseeing
the rebuilding of the hospital into a place of hope, healing and safety. Richard has also been strongly committed to the work of better integrating addictions and mental health services into Oregon’s health care system. I for one am most appreciative of his contributions, and know everyone joins me in thanking him for his service to our clients, our agency and our state. He is leaving us better than he found us.

I have asked Linda Hammond to serve as interim director of AMH after Richard’s retirement.

As we work to transform the health care delivery system with our partners, over the next several months we will also need to transform ourselves and the way we work. Linda is the right person to lead us through that period of change. We will conduct a national search for a permanent director next summer, when we have a better idea of the needs of our agency, our health care system and our state.

I know many of you are familiar with Linda. She has served in key leadership roles in AMH and in community services in Oregonand elsewhere. She brings strong administrative experience and a proven ability to lead people through change.

Before her current role as administrator of the Oregon State Hospital Replacement Project, Linda was the budget administrator for AMH. Prior to that, she held key leadership positions at Oregon Housing and Community Services and other nonprofit organizations. She also worked in a community facility in England for children living with mental and physical disabilities. Linda holds degrees in psychology, specializing in child development, and business management.

Over the next few months Richard and Linda will work together closely to ensure a smooth transition. Please join me in expressing appreciation to Richard for his service and in welcoming Linda to her new role.