Westview Behavioral Health Services has a new executive director but the face and name is familiar.
Hugh Gray is the new director and he takes off where former director Dan Hilton left off. He officially started the Monday after Hilton retired which was June 25.
Previously, Gray served as the director of prevention services for the center and has a decade of experience with the center which helps people with any sort of mental or physical health issues.
While the center does help with alcohol and drug abuse issues, Gray says that the center also helps out people dealing with other emotional issues including grief counseling, marriage counseling and adjustment issues.
He says that the treatment director is getting the programs going within the center and he points out that it is an intensive outpatient program in which people may get assistance while still maintaining their jobs and families. It’s a high frequency, high dosage program, according to Gray.
That’s just one of many things the center helps with.
While they used to be the Newberry drug and alcohol treatment center, they have moved on to helping anyone with any sort of health issue they have.
Gray believes that health is a holistic thing and that it encompasses more than just physical, but mental and emotional as well.
In fact, he’s working with the fairly new group, Eat Smart, Move More which is looking to improve the health of Newberry County. Westview is more directly connected to the group in reducing the use of tobacco products, he says.
Gray would like to incorporate events related to physical health as well. One idea that is just an idea is a 5k race or a road race that could be shorter or longer.
Aside from the programs that the center offers, Gray also realizes that there are plenty of administrative tasks to tackle.
For one thing, while Gray is taking on the new director title he also still maintains duties from his previous position. That’s part of the restructuring and budgeting he has had to organize.
While Westview is a non-profit, they receive about a third of their funding from the state and they do have a grant for a coalition to put an end to underage drinking.
The center has received grants before.
In fact, Gray worked for the center through a Silverstreet Community program which ended in 1996.
Gray was able to focus on the Silverstreet area which was identified as a need-based area. He says it was neat to go from looking at the county overall to a project that really focused on one community.
He worked on after school projects and worked on getting families together. He also reflects on many fun projects that they were able to do for the community.
Before that, he worked on the Fighting Back program which took a look at alcohol and substance abuse through different lenses for a few years. This was for county of Newberry overall.
After those programs, he worked for the school district and then returned to Westview where he was the prevention director. Now, he’s director plus maintaining his old duties.
Gray says that before he even came to Westview and while he was in a totally different career, he knew he wanted to do something community oriented.
Now he’s helping the community by striving to maintain quality improvement with efficiency and a constant examination of himself and the center.
He’s actually studying for his master’s in non-profit management and through his studies, he says that the guys who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution helped set up a culture for grassroots organization.
“Things get done at the grassroots level,” says Gray, which he relates to what he and his coworkers do at Westview.