Embattled mental health care provider, Mind Springs Health, hires new CEO

After a six-month search, Mind Springs Health has hired John Sheehan as CEO.
Mind Springs Health/Courtesy photo

The largest mental health and addiction treatment provider in western Colorado, Mind Springs Health, has hired John Sheehan to become the organization’s chief executive officer, as announced on Wednesday, July 13.

Sheehan will begin duties at Mind Springs Health in early August, according to the health care provider that serves patients in Routt, Moffat, Grand, Eagle, Summit, Garfield, Mesa, Pitkin, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties.

“The Board of Directors did not enter the search for a new CEO lightly when we began the process in January,” said Mind Springs Health Board Chair Stefan Bate in a news release.

“The national search resulted in a number of extremely talented candidates who were vetted with extreme diligence,” Bate continued. “Mr. Sheehan was our choice to lead our organization, as he impressed us with not only his experience and industry knowledge, but with his empathy and compassion for the vulnerable populations Mind Springs Health serves.”

Sheehan’s hiring comes after a six-month search following former CEO Sharon Raggio’s resignation at the beginning of the year. Her early resignation was a result of Mind Springs Health coming under increased scrutiny for failing to serve many of its clients, detailed in reporting by the Colorado News Collaborative, along with other issues.

Officials in Summit and Eagle counties even taken steps to cut ties with the health care provider that relies heavily on state funding.

Doug Pattison, the firm’s former chief financial officer, has been filling in an interim role since Raggio left the organization in January.

“The Board of Directors is grateful to Doug for stepping in as Interim CEO during a turbulent time and for his hard work in helping improve relationships on local and state levels,” Bate said.

According to Mind Springs, Sheehan started his career as a mental health tech and worked his way up through various management and executive level positions, including having a wealth of experience with in-patient care and telehealth integration.

Sheehan has been at the helm of Rochester Health Information Exchange for the last year, and he and his team helped re-design the health care system in anticipation of being awarded one of the largest 1115 waivers ever granted by the federal government.

The waivers are intended to give states the option to test new approaches in Medicaid that differ from what is required by federal law and can offer states considerable flexibility in how they operate their programs.

For seven years, Sheehan also served as the CEO of Harbor Toledo, one of the largest behavioral health providers in the Midwest with more than 30 treatment locations in Ohio, Michigan and Virginia.

Prior to his time at Harbor Toledo, Sheehan was the vice president of Behavioral Health Services for BayCare Health System based in Clearwater, Florida, the largest nonprofit private provider of inpatient care in the state.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.