South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202
News Release

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2007
Contact: John Hutto
               Public & Legislative Affairs
               803-898-8584

               jhh35@scdmh.org

Catawba Community Mental Health Center Names New Executive Director

Columbia, SC – Officials at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and the board of the Catawba Community Mental Health Center announced today that Paul J. Cornely, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been named executive director of the mental health center, effective March 12, 2007. He comes to South Carolina from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he has served as chief of Clinical Service for a hospital-based community mental health and addictions treatment center since 1997.

Geoffrey J. Mason, deputy director, SCDMH Community Mental Health Services, said, “We are fortunate to have an executive with Dr. Cornely’s experience, especially in clinical operations and fiscal management.  He will be an asset to the agency, the Catawba Community Mental Health Center, and our clients and their families.”

The Catawba Community Mental Health Center, located in Rock Hill, serves York, Chester and Lancaster counties.  The center and its various clinics and specialty offices served 7,022 citizens in fiscal year 2005-2006, and provide a range of services.

Dr. Cornely earned his doctorate degree at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health and Medicine and his master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.  He has more than 29 years of experience working in the behavioral health field and has extensive experience in hospital and community services operations.  In addition to holding numerous professional appointments, Dr. Cornely has published many scientific articles on a variety of topics. 

“My desire is to continue to contribute to progressive public policy and the development of programs that reduce the burden and stigma of mental illness and substance abuse and promote recovery and resiliency,” said Dr. Cornely.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health provides services through a network of seventeen mental health centers, four psychiatric hospitals, and three nursing centers, including two for veterans.

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