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Valeo Behavioral Health director Bill Persinger Jr. announces retirement in August

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The head of Topeka’s Valeo Behavioral Health Care has announced his retirement effective this summer.

Bill D. Persinger, Jr. will be retiring as chief executive officer of Valeo Behavioral Health Care Inc. in August, officials said.

The announcement came Wednesday morning from Valeo’s Board of Governors.

Persinger, who has served as the organization’s CEO since November 2015, “has dedicated his life’s work to helping people,” according to a news release from Valeo.

“For most of his 50-year career,” the release stated, “he has held leadership roles in four of the Kansas community mental health centers, which are charged with providing the public mental health safety net services, including comprehensive mental health rehabilitation.”

Persinger said he was ready to pursue other opportunities in his retirement.

“It wasn’t easy to reach this decision because I believe so fully in Valeo’s unique mission,” Persinger said. “It has been my honor to be part of the meaningful work we do for the people we serve and for our community.

“At the same time, though, after 50 years in the field, I’m ready to prioritize pursuits outside of work.”

Under Persinger’s leadership, Valeo recently received Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic status, which allows for better access, enhanced programs and new services.

“Bill has a deep respect for Valeo’s strong reputation as an exceptional provider for those seeking recovery from mental illness and/or addiction,” said Tyler Levier, Valeo’s board chairman. “Therefore, he has focused his time here on building upon that decades-old foundation, putting the organization in a position to continue succeeding into the future.”

An interim CEO soon will be appointed by Valeo’s governing board to work alongside Persinger, the organization’s executive management team and the board of directors during the transition.

According to the news release, the board and staff leadership at Valeo remain committed to the spirit of the organization’s name, which is Latin for “to be well.”

“Valeo’s vision for a future where everybody has access to stigma-free behavioral health care drew me to this role in the first place,” Persinger said. “Today, we are the provider of choice for complete and compassionate care. That’s a credit to our entire team, which I have no doubt will continue thriving in the service of others well after my retirement.”

Persinger also volunteers for several community and business initiatives, including the City of Topeka’s homelessness project, to which he will continue contributing his personal time after he retires.

Valeo is a nonprofit organization serving Topeka since 1967 and is the designated mental health authority for Shawnee County.

The organization was originally established as a result of the Community Mental Health Center Act in the 1960s and has since grown to three corporations: Valeo Behavioral Health Care Inc., Valeo Community Residence Program and the Valeo Foundation.

Valeo offers 24-Hour crisis services and has expanded services to include 29 programs throughout eight locations while providing community outreach to the Topeka Rescue Mission, area hospitals, Shawnee County Jail, and law enforcement, as well as individuals in their homes.

Valeo employs approximately 320 staff members, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, technicians, case managers and peer support specialists.

Valeo serves an average of 6,000 residents in Shawnee County each year, and partners with more than 100 agencies and companies to coordinate services.

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