HCN News & Notes

National Council for Behavioral Health Appoints CSO’s Karin Jeffers to Board Position

NORTHAMPTON — Karin Jeffers, president and CEO of nonprofit behavioral-health agency Clinical & Support Options (CSO), has become the newest board member of the National Council for Behavioral Health. Jeffers earned the greatest number of votes during a recent special election to replace outgoing board member Tomas Jankowski.

Jeffers will be one of two representatives for the National Council Region 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. She will serve out the remainder of Jankowski’s term (until June 30, 2023) and be eligible to run for two additional three-year terms thereafter.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is a membership association that advocates for policies ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality behavioral healthcare. It is made up of 3,381 member organizations across the U.S. that deliver mental health and addiction treatment and services.

The National Council board is composed entirely of elected volunteers from the staff and community boards of National Council member organizations. Board members are elected by National Council member organizations in each of 10 regions covering the entire U.S.

“As the president and CEO of a nonprofit, Massachusetts-based agency, I am a knowledgeable supporter of National Council priorities,” Jeffers told her National Council constituents. “These include certified community behavioral-health-clinic expansion to all 50 states; policy to address the addiction crisis in the U.S.; the imperative need for policy supporting our workforce; and improved opportunities for mental-health first aid across our nation.”

Jeffers has served as CSO’s president and CEO since 2005. During her tenure at the helm, the agency has grown from a $4 million organization with fewer than 90 employees across just three Greenfield locations to what is now a $44 million agency with more than 750 employees at 20 locations across Western and Central Mass.

Joining the National Council Board is not Jeffers’ first foray into public policy. In addition to being a longtime National Council member, she also serves on the board of the Assoc. of Behavioral Health (ABH), which is instrumental in lobbying for positive change in statewide and national policies governing healthcare. In fact, she served as ABH’s board chair from 2016 to 2018, and as its children’s CEO policy committee chair from 2012 to 2020. She currently chairs the ABH CEO committee on emergency services.