Denver, Colorado May 3, 2023 (Issuewire.com) – After the forced departure of Dr. Morgan Medlock as Commissioner of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) on April 17, 2023, the current Interim Commissioner has taken immediate action to push back all time-sensitive deadlines. This is a privilege that was denied to Dr. Medlock during her tenure despite requesting the same power.
The BHA was on track to meet statutory requirements under Dr. Medlock’s leadership over the last year. This delay in implementation is counter to the narrative of maintaining progress on transformational reform that was catalyzed by Dr. Medlock over the past year. The new timelines, contained within House Bill 23-1236 (Implementation Updates to the BHA) were submitted to the General Assembly on Wednesday, April 26. Delays include a year more to decide on the Behavioral Health Administrative Service Organizations (BHASOS) and a longer timeline for rules promulgation, crucial projects that Dr. Medlock championed.
Dr. Medlock was in the process of bringing more diversity onto the BHA leadership team. As a result of Dr. Medlock’s dismissal without cause, all diverse senior leaders have departed their positions. The BHA was in the final stages of hiring a Chief of the Commissioner’s Office, formerly the Chief of Staff role. After an in-depth hiring process, the role was set to be filled by a Black-identifying woman, but this candidate was recently informed that she was not selected and the position had closed. The white-identifying male who had previously resigned has reclaimed his role and will continue to hold his position despite state policies around resignation timelines. A story shared on the Justice for Medlock website expresses:
“What I see as a blatant disregard for the strength and power of a capable, outstanding Black woman, has discouraged and disenchanted me towards the government that appointed her and seemed to support our work.”
The Justice for Medlock movement is growing. The petition has more than 250 signatures and it is reported that www.JusticeForMedlock.com is now blocked on the State of Colorado’s network. As a collective, we are amplifying our call and urging Governor Polis to bring Dr. Morgan Medlock back. Sign the petition for Governor Polis to reinstate her as the Commissioner of the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration, and share Dr. Medlock’s story.
Source :Justice for Medlock
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