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Key behavioral health official is leaving state

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SANTA FE – A key behavioral health official in the state Human Services Department has resigned from the agency to take a job in Philadelphia.

Diana McWilliams, the director of the Behavioral Health Services Division and the CEO of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative, announced her departure in a letter this week to Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier.

Her last day on the job is today, according to HSD spokesman Matt Kennicott.

The department caused a furor with its decision this year to halt behavioral health Medicaid funding to 15 nonprofits and replace a dozen of them with Arizona providers.

The HSD said an audit done by a Boston-based consulting company showed overbilling, mismanagement and possible fraud among the nonprofits; the attorney general is investigating.

Critics said that the nonprofits were treated unfairly and that services to the mentally ill and addicted have suffered.

McWilliams, who has held the top posts at the division and the collaborative since July 2012, said she has taken a job as chief operating officer for a nonprofit behavioral health and child welfare organization. A former state lawmaker in Delaware, McWilliams has family members in that area.

McWilliams told Squier in her letter that Squier’s “support for always doing the right thing, for the right reasons has led us over some quite tough policy bridges, and has earned my unwavering respect for you.”

Squier, in a statement issued Thursday, cited McWilliams’ “professionalism, integrity, and commitment to ensuring quality care for our neighbors and friends.”

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