By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced Tuesday that Zelia Baugh has resigned as the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Commissioner Baugh, cited family priorities as her reason for resigning. Her resignation is effective June 30. The Governor has appointed Jim Reddoch to take over the Alabama Department of Mental Health.
Commissioner Baugh said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of this state. However, it has become increasingly apparent to me that my family priorities require most of my attention at this time. I believe the department is well-positioned to continue to make progress toward providing the highest caliber services to Alabamians with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses, or substance addictions. Throughout the department, there are dedicated individuals who are making a positive difference in the lives of consumers and their families, and I am honored to have served as Commissioner.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said, “I appreciate the work Zelia has done to modernize mental health care services in this state. She has fully dedicated herself to meeting the needs of patients and their families. As recently as last week, her efforts were recognized on a national level as she spoke with a Senate committee about the state’s modernization efforts. She has made a lasting contribution to mental health services in Alabama.”
Currently, Jim Reddoch is serving as the executive director of Indian Rivers Mental Health Center. Prior to that Reddoch was director of the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa from 2000 to 2009. He was also an Alabama Assistant Attorney General. Reddock has also been the director of Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa and was a deputy commissioner for the Alabama Department of Mental Health from 1988 to 1992.
Gov. Bentley said, “I believe Jim’s wealth of experience will serve the state well, most importantly the patients of the Alabama Department of Mental Health. We have made tremendous progress in moving patients into a more modern, community-based care network. We are also making sure our traditional mental health facilities best meet the needs of the patients they serve. Jim Reddoch’s background and expertise will help us accomplish our mission.”
Commissioner Reddoch said, “I am committed to building on the department’s progress of developing the highest-quality services possible for all of the patients we serve. From community-based care networks to services within our traditional mental health facilities, we will strive to meet the needs of everyone we serve.”
Gov. Bentley’s statement said that Com. “Reddoch will continue the work of integrating mental health patients into more modern, community-based care consistent with the progress the department has made in implementing the Governor’s vision for mental health in Alabama.”
Zelia Baugh was appointed Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health ADMH by Governor Robert Bentley. She previously was the Administrator of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham Center for Psychiatric Medicine. She was also the Administrative Director of Psychiatry at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham. She was appointed to the ADMH Advisory Board of Trustees in 2008.