Newport Mental Health hires new project director, project coordinator

NEWPORT MENTAL HEALTH has hired Richard Leclerc as project director and Erica Michonski as project coordinator of its new $4 million expansion project Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. / COURTESY NEWPORT MENTAL HEALTH

MIDDLETOWN – Newport Mental Health has hired Richard Leclerc as project director and Erica Michonski as project coordinator of its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a new $4 million expansion project.

CEO Jamie Lehane announced the hires of Leclerc, former CEO of Gateway Healthcare in Providence, and Michonski, former coordinator at the Providence Center, on March 1.

Leclerc chairs the Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health and serves on the National Council for Behavioral Health.

“I am thrilled to have someone like Richard who comes to us with such tremendous federal and state experience in community mental health and CCBHC,” Lehane said. “Both Richard and Erica are highly capable individuals. Richard with his breadth of experience in leadership and collaboration at the state and federal levels and Erica, with her experience in training and facilities,” she added.

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Michonski, a Tiverton resident, was facilities and safety coordinator at the Providence Center for seven years, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“I’m excited about watching the growth of these agencies as they implement and expand programs for more ethnicities, LGBTQ communities and others,” said Michonski. “Being part of this project is a reward in itself.”

The expansion, which is in progress, is funded through a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. The project involves Newport Mental Health as the lead agency along with Thrive Behavioral Health in Warwick and Community Care Alliance in Woonsocket.

The collaboration allows the participating community mental health agencies to expand their services. The CCBHC project will provide an opportunity for Rhode Islanders with little or no insurance, many of whom have gone untreated, to receive treatment.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN contributing writer.