History of the Board System

In the 1950s, the nation's state psychiatric hospitals reached their peak at approximately 560,000 residents. The system then saw a shift away from inpatient hospitalization to a community mental health philosophy that showed it is more beneficial and humane to treat people with mental illness in the community where they are closer to their families, jobs, and other community supports.

The Ohio Legislature enacted House Bill 648 in 1967 which established 53 Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Boards. The bill marked major progress for Ohioans receiving publicly supported mental health and addiction services by creating a community-based system of care.

In 1988 with the passage of Senate Bill 156, also known as Ohio's Mental Health Act of 1988, another step was taken to develop an integrated system of care. Local Mental Health Boards were identified as the public entities responsible for services to adults with serious mental illness. This legislation increased the involvement of recovering people and their families in the treatment process, enhanced training for mental health professionals, strengthened licensing requirements in order to assure quality, and put into place case management as a piece of the community support system.

In 1989, House Bill 317 created the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and added alcohol and drug addiction prevention, treatment, and support services to the operations of the local Boards. Through all the changes and progressions in authority, three out every four patients in Ohio's state hospitals transitioned into community-based settings. Today, Ohio's behavioral health Boards continue to ensure that substance use disorder and mental health services are available to those who need them, regardless of their ability to pay.

Ohio's citizens benefit from having local alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services boards located in their home communities. Local control over behavioral health services guarantees that the system is consumer and family friendly, has the support of the local community, is accountable to taxpayers, and ensures a wide array of culturally competent community-based services.

Columbiana County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board

Through the Years


Ohio House Bill 648 established local "Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Boards" which became known as "648 Boards."

The Columbiana County Mental Health Clinic Director developed the local Columbiana County 648 Board. After a year of preparation, the new Columbiana County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board (648) became a reality. Board offices were co-located with the Columbiana County Mental Health Clinic at 336 East Lincoln Way in Lisbon.


Dr. John Hayes was elected Chairman at the Board's first organizational meeting in May 1969.

The Board had no director, staff, offices, or funds. The Mental Health Clinic Director suggested "loaning" select Clinic staff as well as their salaries to the Board, which could then be used to attract state dollars. Thus began the concept of the "dual role" of the Director and "shared staff:" The Counseling Center in many respects became the "birthplace" of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board's "dual role" status. Early Board staff included Donald Roberts, Executive Director; Rosemary King, Secretary; and Delores Bailey. The shared staff concept benefited the Board by saving administrative costs and allowing them to increase needed mental health services that otherwise would not have been available.


Having previously passed a 1/10 mill levy and a 2/10 mill levy (prior to the formation of the Board), voters passed the combined levies to cover a five-year span.


Voters passed a 3/10 mill renewal levy for 10 years, assuring funding until 1985.


A new 9/10 mill, five-year levy failed in June 1976 by a margin of 50.9% to 49.1%, with 55% needed for passage in a special election.

In November 1976, a new 9/10 mill, five-year levy was again rejected by the voters by a margin of 47% to 53%.

Patricia Baumgarner joined the Board staff as a Program Planner, Evaluator, and Grant Writer.


In November 1977, a new 1 mill, five-year levy failed at the polls by a margin of 48% to 52%.


Board and Clinic staff moved into new quarters with the opening of the Columbiana County Mental Health Center at 40722 State Route 154 in Lisbon, built with Ohio Department of Mental Health capital dollars and a federal public works grant.

Amended Substitute Senate Bill 160 is adopted by the Ohio Senate on August 1, 1980. The name of the Board officially changes from Columbiana County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board to Columbiana County Mental Health Board.


The renewal 3/10 mill, ten-year levy passed (54% to 46%). Up to this time, the Mental Health Clinic Board of Trustees handled levy authorization. Beginning this year, the Columbiana County Mental Health Board (648) assumed the task of placing future levies on the ballot.


In November 1985, a new 1.3 mill, five-year levy was approved (51.4% to 48.6%). This levy was passed due to the collaborative efforts of many: recovering people, family members, providers, board, and concerned citizens. The levy was intended to create housing and other support services for adults with serious mental illness and to expand services for children with serious emotional disturbances and their families.


The Mental Health Act of 1988 gave Boards more responsibility for serving people with Severe Mental Disabilities and Severe Emotional Disabilities in local communities. The Act moved funds from state hospitals if communities could provide services locally to keep local residents out of psychiatric hospitals.

Ohio ranked seventh among state systems for persons with mental illness by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


The adoption of Amended Substitute House Bill 317 provided that local Mental Health Boards in all but the largest counties would be expanded into a single MH/ADAS Board. House Bill 317 also created the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. The local Board was renamed the Columbiana County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board.

Voters approved the renewal 1.3 mill levy for a 10-year period.

Jean McQuilkin hired September 1989 as Administrative Specialist for the Board.


Ohio ranked fourth among state systems for persons with mental illness by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


Family and Children First Council, a local and statewide collaboration responsible for services to children and families was created. The MHRS Board was named the Administrative Agent of this group.


In November, the renewal 3/10 mill, 10-year levy passed (57% to 43%), set to expire in 2005.

Board name formally changed to Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

Board approves participation of the MHRS Board in the Heartland Behavioral Health Network Council of Governments.


Woodside Receiving Hospital closed. State Operated Services (SOS) began. SOS staff members provided community support to severely mentally ill persons so that they could maintain community living.


The MHRS Board contracted with Technical Assistance Collaborative's Pamela Hyde, former Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, to develop a Transition Plan for the separation of the Board from one of its primary service providers, the Counseling Center of Columbiana County (formerly the Mental Health Clinic). The need to separate the Board and the Counseling Center was emphasized by both ODMH and ODADAS. Separation was seen as necessary to come into statutory compliance as well as being healthy for the system.


At its June 16, 1998 Board meeting, the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board formally resolved to separate the administration of the Board and the Counseling Center of Columbiana County.

At its November 10, 1998, meeting, the Board formally appointed Patricia Baumgarner as the Executive Director of the MHRS Board.

December 1998: Board accepts the Administrative Services Agreement for shared implementation and operation of the MACSIS project.


MACSIS, the Multi-Agency Community Service Information System was jointly implemented by ODMH, ODADAS, and county Boards.

Board becomes involved in the Massillon Psychiatric Center Collaborative.

Board receives one of only five grants issued in the state of Ohio to implement Recovery Initiative.


In November 2000, a 1.3 mill replacement levy was passed (53% to 47%), set to expire in 2010.

Columbiana County's PATH Outreach Program was chosen as one of seven 1999 State PATH Contacts' Outstanding Programs.


Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA) was formed to represent all boards statewide.

In February, the first "Leading the Way to Recovery" Conference was held and attended by more than 100 peers, families, and community members. Dr. Michael Hogan, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, was a keynote speaker.


The MHRS Board hired a full-time Recovery Assistant, Maureen Waybright, to promote mental health recovery and coordinate the Recovery Initiative.

Through a Suicide Prevention Grant from ODMH, the Columbiana County Suicide Prevention Coalition was formed.

A Board Appreciation Dinner was held on October 16, 2002, to recognize the contributions of Mental Health and Recovery Board members, consumers, staff, and Board members of service providers.

Produced the video, "Change Your Mind About Mental Illness" featuring area residents as part of an ongoing community education effort to inform the public that mental illness is common and treatable.

Family Recovery Center opened the Fleming House for homeless women recovering from addiction.


Board receives the "Starfish Award" from Help Hotline Crisis Center in recognition of its efforts in the area of homeland security and suicide prevention.

Consumers and staff attended the "Rally for Recovery and Advocacy Day" in Columbus.


Board unveiled a Network of Care website for individuals, families, and agencies concerned with mental and emotional wellness.

Columbiana County's Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness Program (PATH) received a national award and a $2,500 grant from Eli Lilly and Company.


MHRS Board moved from the Counseling Center premises to new offices at 27 Vista Drive.

In November 2005, a replacement 3/10 mill levy was defeated 51% to 49%.

The MHRS Board received a three-year State Incentive Grant from ODADAS. Columbiana County was selected as one of only 20 State Incentive Grant demonstration sites. The "All-Stars" program was selected with the goal of increasing school success and decreasing substance abuse.

Apple Grove Homes, a project spearheaded by the Counseling Center added 10 additional units. The one-bedroom apartments serve people with serious mental illnesses, providing them with a quality housing option.

Counseling Center Director, Donald G. Roberts, retired after 40 years of service and Roger Sikorszky was hired as the new Executive Director of the Counseling Center.


The Board and the District XI Area Agency on Aging co-sponsor a symposium for more than 100 physicians, nurses, counselors, and social workers. Featured presenter of "Identifying and Responding to Behavioral Health Problems in Older Persons: A Focus on Long Term and Community Care," was Dr. Jules Rosen of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Co-sponsored a two-day training session for Columbiana and Mahoning County personnel on "Responding to Behavioral Health Needs Following Disasters and Terrorist Events."

Shining Reflections, an organization serving persons recovering with mental illnesses and other disabilities and a service provider of the MHRS Board, celebrated 20 years of service to the community.

In May, a replacement ten-year 3/10 mill levy passed 54% to 46%.

The MHRS Board presented the first annual Bill Cramer Award during the Consumer Appreciation Lunch to an individual involved as a volunteer and chair of the Community Involvement Workgroup.


Board received a three-year Culture of Quality Certification for having demonstrated evidence of substantial conformance with the Culture of Quality Standards and a serious commitment to meeting the goals of the Culture of Quality Program.

Sponsored Crisis Intervention Training sessions for area law enforcement officials in February and April.

Board received the "Hope Has a Home" Award from the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in September for demonstrated commitment to treatment and recovery.

Family Recovery Center received a $40,000 STAR-SI (Strengthening Access and Retention – State Initiative) to decrease waiting time for counseling and treatment of chemical dependency, reducing no-shows, and increasing the number of clients who continue treatment.

Sponsored a workshop for 50 clinical staff on Suicide Risk Factors, Risk Assessment, and Risk Management.

Participated in a countywide workshop for teachers and staff hosted by the Columbiana County Educational Service Center. Topics included "Suicide Prevention and Intervention for Youth," "Change Your Mind About Mental Illness," and "Today's Threats: Cyberbullying, Youth Violence, and Substance Abuse."

Received a $10,000 grant from the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities to develop a web-based training for primary care physicians about behavioral health conditions in older adults.

Received a $42,791 planning grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Project Care" was collaboratively developed between the MHRS Board the Columbiana County Educational Service Center.


Launched the Columbiana County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Coalition.

As part of her visit to agencies around the state, Ohio's First Lady Frances Strickland met with Columbiana County's Family and Children First Council to discuss issues, challenges, and opportunities.

Board Executive Director and Family and Children First Council Coordinator attend a two-day Ohio Summit on Children in Columbus.

Boards from around the state meet in Columbus to dialogue with ODMH and ODADAS regarding system reform. Along with Executive Directors from other Boards, Executive Director attended a Reception with Governor Strickland to discuss Boards' concerns with system reform.


Conducted a successful renewal levy campaign in November. 59% of voters said “Yes” to continue the caring.


In conjunction with the ADAPT Coalition, secured a grant from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services to reduce harmful use of alcohol among young adults ages 18-25.

Obtained funding from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation to implement Wellness Management and Recovery, group based education on health and wellness for persons recovering with serious mental illness.

Obtained an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to increase substance abuse services at the Columbiana County Jail.

Kathie Chaffee named Executive Director with the retirement of Patricia Baumgarner.


Instituted a client outcomes system to inform planning and to track effectiveness of services.

Implemented recovery coaching, a support offered to people with addictions by an individual in recovery who is succeeding. Recovery coaches work one-on-one with individuals who need significant support, encouragement, and positive example in order to make progress in their own recovery.

Provided funding to implement the Transition to Independence model for teens and young adults with serious mental illnesses. This evidence-based practice helps young people continue with their education, obtain employment, and maximize their independence and self-reliance in spite of coping with their mental illnesses.


Secured funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to implement the New Directions Program. Evidence-based counseling, assistance with obtaining employment, and recovery coaching offered to adults on probation or parole with substance use problems.

Partnered with the Columbiana County Coroner’s Office to establish a Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) team. The team consists of trained volunteers who reach out to survivors of suicide, offering support and referral information on coping and bereavement.

Trained 2 Mental Health First Aid facilitators, who began offering Mental Health First Aid classes throughout Columbiana County.


Passed a renewal levy in November 2015, which was supported by 63% of voters.


Secured a competitive grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to increase treatment and reentry services for people with serious mental illnesses and people with addictions who are incarcerated at the Columbiana County Jail.

Participated in the “Recovery is Beautiful” education campaign, which featured 40 Columbiana County residents in recovery going “public” about their mental illnesses and addictions. These courageous individuals put a human face on recovery, showing that people from all backgrounds experience addictions and mental illnesses. They provide a message of hope to others that recovery is possible.


Marcy Patton named Executive Director following the retirement of Kathie Chaffee.

Met with OhioMHAS, elected officials, and law enforcement regarding scope of opiate problems and prevention, treatment and recovery needs of individuals with opiate addiction in Columbiana County.

Provided Ohio Peer Supporter training to 15 persons in recovery.


Twelve law enforcement officers completed Crisis Intervention Team training and earned CIT certification. The five-day, 40-hour training provides officers the tools needed to respond when someone is experiencing a crisis.

PAX Good Behavior Game, an evidence-based prevention program, implemented in two county schools.

Board provided funding for Columbiana County Municipal Court to create an intervention and treatment program for those facing drug-related charges.

The Community Care Team, a multi-system collaborative to coordinate care for people with complex mental health and substance use issues, was created.

The “Stepping Up” initiative was launched in the county. This community effort to safely reduce the number of incarcerated adults with mental illness involves helping them access needed treatment and supports.

With grant funding from the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, the county Suicide Prevention Coalition hosted a “Means Matter” event, distributing gun locks and information about suicide awareness and local resources.


With Board assistance, the SOS Recovery Court was created in East Liverpool Municipal Court, offering intervention and treatment for individuals with drug-related charges.

The Columbiana County Opioid Hub was established. Boards across Ohio are tasked with creating these Hubs to address problems contributing to the opioid epidemic.

Faith-based leaders gathered to form the Columbiana County Faith-Based Collaborative. The group meets monthly to address the needs of persons with mental illness and substance use disorders. A training in October was attended by 43 people.


As COVID-19 shut down most of the world, CCMHRSB worked to ensure providers could safely continue necessary treatment. We procured personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies for treatment providers and residential facilities. Staff participated in routine briefings with other county agencies to share and receive up-to-date information on the impacts of the pandemic. The Board provided crisis funding to help meet ongoing needs and support providers' efforts to offer telehealth services and eventually reopen for in-person services. We also regularly shared information about the mental health impacts of the pandemic and resource information. 

CCMHRSB collaborated with the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Job and Family Services, Juvenile Court, and the Family and Childre First council to open the first residential home for multi-system youth in Columbiana County. 

We received a $40,000 grant from the Northeast Ohio University of Medicine's Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence to expand the Crisis Intervention Team program in Columbiana County. We also participated in a voluntary peer review of our CIT program, which provided valuable feedback to use to improve our program. 


We provided $20,000 in funding to launch Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program in Columbiana County, providing one free book each month to county children up to age 5. 

A pilot Mobile Crisis Response program was launched in partnership with the Salem Police Department and Salem Regional Medical Center. The program makes certified peer supporters available to law enforcement and hospital personnel to assist with calls for individuals experiencing mental health or substance use issues.  Peer Supporters work alongside police officers and hospital staff to get individuals into treatment rather than filing charges or waiting to be seen in the hospital emergency room. 

The Board partnered with the ADAPT Coalition to present the first Women’s Empowerment Retreat, attended by 40 women who took part in sessions about self-care, setting boundaries, healthy relationships, and mental wellness. 


The Critical Incident Task Force program was launched, coordinated by Kelli Hephner. The overall goal of the program is to promote first responder well-being, not just in the aftermath of a critical event. The program has since morphed into a comprehensive First Responder Wellness program, offering critical incident debriefing, support groups for first responders, and a number of trainings specific to first responders. 

We partnered with Broadway Recovery Services to open a sober living home for men in Salem.

A mini-grant program was established, with eight organizations awarded funding by the Board for their creative and innovative proposals that improve and build upon positive mental health and/or provide alternatives to substance use. A total of $14,113 was distributed in the first year. 


From the very night a train derailed in East Palestine February 3, the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board has worked to meet the immediate and ongoing behavioral health needs of the East Palestine community. To date, more than $1 million has been awarded through an Emergency Response Grant from SAMHSA, and this funding is being used to provide support groups, resiliency activities, and treatment to those impacted by the derailment. Stay tuned for the opening of the East Palestine Resiliency Center in the spring of 2024.

The Board is participating in a pilot outreach program with the Ohio State Highway Patrol aimed at providing treatment information to individuals stopped for alcohol and substance use-related offenses. Peer supporters with the Mobile Crisis unit are following up with persons who have been provided treatment resources.

Operation BRIDGE, a two-day event in East Liverpool and Salem, offered the Board the opportunity to partner with nearly 40 service agencies, law enforcement, and others to provide a free meal, resource information, and immediate access to substance use disorder treatment. More than 3,000 contacts were made, more than 800 meals were served, and four individuals were initiated into treatment.