PLATTSBURGH — Craig Amoth brings vision, experience and an exuberant personality to his new position as executive director for Behavioral Health Services North.
He replaces Harry Cook as BHSN’s top administrator; Cook retired from the position earlier this year.
Amoth comes most recently from New Hampshire, where he administered a state-wide human-services program that offered intensive in-home care for children.
“I was looking for a new opportunity where I could become part of an agency that brings value to the community,” he said, voicing praise of all that he has heard about BHSN and the services it provides.
“I am pleasantly surprised by the breadth and depth of services offered by this agency,” he added, noting that BHSN has been in existence — in one form or another — for 179 years.
“This agency has had to be very creative in its ability to transition over the years.”
Amoth, who officially came on board April 1, did not begin his tenure with a specific list of goals he would like to accomplish.
“I really want to take the time to learn about the community (first), to understand where the gaps are and how we can be more supportive to the community,” he said.
“I need to understand the community before I can think about launching new initiatives.”
BHSN will be scheduling “meet and greet” events in upcoming weeks to introduce Amoth to regional agencies and organizations and to help him learn the names and faces of people involved in the local communities.
Amoth said he was especially excited about BHSN’s recent addition of primary-care services at the agency’s new facility on Route 22B near the Clinton County Fairgrounds.
He strongly believes that mental-health care and medical care should be closely connected.
“We don’t always integrate services well,” Amoth said of a historic separation of mental-health and medical services.