Okpara Rice appointed to statewide children’s behavioral health board

We are pleased to announce Okpara Rice, CEO of Tanager Place, has been appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds to serve on the Iowa Children’s Behavioral Health System Board. The appointment is a continuation of Rice’s service to the state, and marks the next phase of progress on the recently established children’s mental health system.

From the Governor’s Office:

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Reynolds announced her appointments to Iowa’s Children’s Behavioral Health System Board. The board will facilitate the coordination of Iowa’s recently created Children’s Mental Health system, ensuring children will have access to the mental health services they need.

“I was proud to create a Children’s Behavioral Health System, where the path to healing is clearly marked and parents know where to begin so their child can get help. The Children’s Mental Health Board will take a leading role in improving the system for generations to come,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I look forward to working with this remarkable group of professionals who will make life-changing decisions for Iowans who need it most.”

The following appointments are subject to Senate confirmation in the 2020 legislative session:

Children’s Behavioral Health System Board
Scott Hobart, Davenport
Shanell Wagler, Panora
Okpara Rice, Marion
Andrew Allen, Huxley
Dan Cox, Sioux City
Melanie Cleveringa, Sioux Center
Peggy Huppert, Johnston
Mary Neubauer, Clive
Jason Sandholdt, Knoxville
Nathan Noble, Clive
Carol Meade, Newhall
Darci Alt, Redfield

Earlier this year, Gov. Reynolds signed HF690, a bill that creates and funds the first of its kind comprehensive Children’s Mental Health System. The bill follows recommendations from the first Children’s Mental Health Board, Gov Reynolds created by Executive Order in 2018.

Rice also served on the first Children’s Mental Health Board, and is eager to continue in this capacity and move the process forward.

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