Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Anya Rader Wallack today announced Rebecca "Becky" Boss as their choice to lead the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH). Boss has served as Acting Director of the Department for the past ten months. The Governor will submit her name to the Rhode Island State Senate today for their advice and consent.
"Becky has dedicated her career to serving the State's most vulnerable citizens," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "Her commitment, leadership, and vision over the last 13 years have been instrumental in moving a diverse department forward to meet the needs of our residents in a constantly changing service environment. I am pleased to have a strong leader with her depth of knowledge and respect from the community serving as the Director at BHDDH."
"One of my highest priorities has been to promote stability and establish leadership within the health and human services agencies by identifying and onboarding competent and committed department directors," said Acting Secretary Rader Wallack. "Becky is a natural choice. She has well-established relationships and brings to this position deep experience within the department and throughout the State of Rhode Island. She is very well-positioned to lead BHDDH through the management challenges that lay ahead."
Boss, 53, has more than 20 years of experience in the behavioral health and substance-use disorder field. She began her career serving youth in residential care and left that position to provide direct clinical services at CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., eventually moving into various management roles. In 2004, Boss joined the staff at BHDDH, where she served as Deputy Director and Administrator for 12 years and as Acting Director for the last 10 months. During her tenure at BHDDH, Boss has been recognized locally and nationally for creating innovative programs, including the development of peer-support services in the emergency room for individuals who have overdosed.
"I am honored to be appointed as the Director of BHDDH," Boss said. "The Governor and her administration are committed to the populations served by the department--communities at Eleanor Slater Hospital, individuals living with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, or substance use disorders, etc. We have been improving our services in each division to provide better coordination and value to all Rhode Islanders in need of our work. The staff at BHDDH is steadfast in their commitment to continue the work we have started."
While serving as Acting Director, Boss continued many reforms at BHDDH initiated under Governor Raimondo's leadership. The department has taken significant and innovative measures to improve quality, operations and management, while delivering services more efficiently. As Director at BHDDH, Boss will manage a department of approximately 1,350 employees with a budget of about $386 million for this fiscal year.
Rebecca Boss holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of the Arts degree from Rhode Island College.