Interim Counseling Services Director Appointed

John Casey to begin on November 25

The Health and Counseling Center (HCC) is making a step forward in their ongoing effort to return to normalcy. Lorraine Arvin, Vice President and Treasurer, has appointed an interim Counseling Services Director, John Casey. Casey will begin work on Monday, November 25. He will work full-time through May 2020, by which time a permanent director will presumably be appointed.

 Casey’s sudden appointment comes on the heels of news that two new HCC hires had withdrawn their candidacy. Dr. Ximena Mejía had accepted an offer to become the Associate Dean for Health and Wellbeing, and Dr. Claire Haiman had accepted an offer to become the Director of Counseling. However, both withdrew their candidacies suddenly on November 4.

 According to Mike Brody, Vice President for Student Life and former HCC Counselor, Casey “is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who brings over 20 years of clinical management experience, most recently with clinical services, intensive outpatient clinics and triage services at Kaiser Permanente and formerly as a clinical director with Providence Health System. John [Casey] brings strong experience in psychiatric risk assessment and chemical dependency, as well as direct service as a counselor in a primary care setting. [His] doctoral focus at Portland State University was in the area of suicide epidemiology and intervention.” As interim Director, Casey will “provide supervision and consultation for counseling staff” as well as evaluate the current counseling procedures.

 Hopefully, for the sake of the student body, Casey’s appointment will go smoothly. The counseling side of the HCC has been struggling to return to full services since several senior staff members and clinicians departed suddenly last spring. The search for a permanent Director of Counseling will be reopened in January.

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