The Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) held its inaugural meeting on October 15, 2019. Chairperson Gloria Conseco (San Antonio) called the meeting to order and, following introduction of the Council members, quickly got down to business. The Council received an update from the Behavioral Health Executive Council Incubator Task Force on work underway to establish the Council, including drafting the job description for the Executive Director and researching funding for Council operations.
Following adoption of the Executive Director job description, Darrel Spinks, Executive Director of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP), was appointed as the Interim Director. Mr. Spinks will work closely with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to manage the transition of licensing functions from each of the four licensing boards to the Behavioral Health Executive Council. The Council also appointed an HR Subgroup, composed of one member from each professional licensing board, to oversee the process for hiring an Executive Director. TDLR will post and process applications for the HR Subgroup which will conduct preliminary interviews and recommend finalists to the full Council with a goal of hiring an Executive Director by April 2020.
The Council also approved several Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with TDLR, HHSC and TSPEC to facilitate the transfer of operational activities and licensing functions from HHSC and TSBEP to the Behavioral Health Executive Council. This process will be very complex but must be completed by September 2020.
TCA, TAMFT, NASW-TX representatives and one individual provided public comments supportive of the Council and recommending they establish outcome measures to assess their work; provide those who receive services a conduit for input; create a website that includes information on the Council members as well as meeting dates; and clarify the rulemaking process and timeline for consideration of licensing board rule proposals.
The Council will meet again on January 14, 2020 at 9 am in Austin. Agenda items will include outcome measures, stakeholder outreach and input procedures, updates on personnel and MOUs, presentations from each licensing board represented on the Council, and rule proposal and adoption processes and timelines. The Council Chair requested that each licensing board post information on and updates from the Council on their individual websites. All this in less than 4 hours. WHEW!