KATHY CARTER BUILDING
After more than 35 years of leasing its headquarters, the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare has purchased a building to renovate for office and meeting space. The members of the Coalition are dedicating the building to Kathy Carter, the CEO from 1979 to 2005.
“Kathy Carter Building” will appear on the front of the building, and a donor wall in the conference room lobby will honor both Kathy and donors with a “Giving Tree.”
Kathy Carter led the Missouri Coalition of Community Mental Health Centers (Coalition) as chief executive officer for 26 years, from 1979 until her “retirement” at the end of 2005. The Coalition, now the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, is a statewide network of community mental health centers, affiliate providers, and substance use treatment providers.
Many feel that her leadership fostered the state’s enviable collaborative atmosphere among providers, state government agencies and the state association.
Keith Schafer, the director the Department of Mental Health, has worked with her during her tenure as CEO and as a member of the Missouri Mental Health Commission. He wrote, “Kathy has devoted a lifetime of professional and personal passion, energy and leadership in strengthening services to individuals and families affected by mental illness and substance abuse conditions…She knows more about how government actually works—and does not work—for persons with mental illness and substance abuse problems than any governor, legislator or bureaucrat ever elected or appointed in the state.”
She was appointed to the state’s Mental Health Commission in June of 2007 and has served as chair, secretary and treasurer. The commissioners serve as principal policy advisers to the department director.
In 2009, Kathy became one of the first members to serve on the Missouri Mental Health Foundation’s board of directors. She was elected to serve as the board’s treasurer and continues to serve in this role today. The Foundation was established to provide a singular focus on raising awareness and public understanding of the many issues impacting individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and addiction disorders.
Morty Lebedun, the chair of the Coalition in 1979 when Kathy was hired, noted at her retirement reception “her constancy, her ability to be where she needs to be,” and her “regard for people going through hard times.” He said, “She has been the conscience and moral
compass for community mental health centers in Missouri.”
Dorn Schuffman, a former director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health and consultant for the CMHC healthcare homes, said that because Kathy is authentic, she is trustworthy. “She is credible,” he said. “She has been crucial to almost every improvement in the mental health system in Missouri.”
The Coalition is proud to dedicate its building to Kathy Carter, honoring the years she has devoted to building the system of mental health care in Missouri.
Your donation will support all the direct costs to properly honor the contributions of Kathy to mental health in Missouri (signage, giving tree, etc.), but also contribute toward additional artwork and communication technologies that will inspire and inform the important work we do each day to honor Kathy’s legacy.
Current Coalition Member Agencies:
Adapt of Missouri
Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center
Behavioral Health Response, Inc.
BJC Behavioral Health
Bootheel Counseling Services
Bridgeway Behavioral Health
Burrell Behavioral Health
Clark Community Mental Health Center
Community Counseling Center
Comprehensive Health Systems, Inc.
Comprehensive Mental Health Services, Inc.
Comtrea Comprehensive Health Center
Family Counseling Center, Inc.
Family Guidance Center
Heartland Center for Behavioral Change
Mark Twain Behavioral Health
New Horizons Community Support Services
North Central Missouri Mental Health Center
Ozarks Medical Center Behavioral Healthcare
Phoenix Health Programs
Places for People
Preferred Family Healthcare
Queen of Peace Center
Swope Health Services
Tri-County Mental Health Services, Inc.
Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health
$100 Copper Leaf
$500 Silver Leaf
$1,000 Gold Leaf
$5,000 Silver Dove
Donations are tax deductible, and donors will receive a letter as a receipt for tax purposes. To donate click here.