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For Immediate Release - July 29, 1999
Contact: Anastasia Burton, (406) 444-5523

Governor Appoints Mental Health Ombudsman

(Helena)---Governor Marc Racicot announced today that he has appointed Bonnie Adee to a four-year term as the new Mental Health Managed Care Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman position was created in April by the Montana Legislature as part of Senate Bill 534, which provides guidance for restructuring the public mental health system following the termination of a five-year, $500 million contract with Magellan Behavioral Health. The Department of Public Health and Human Services resumed full responsibility for the public mental health system on July 1.

Nearly 70 individuals from across Montana and from out of state applied for the Ombudsman post. The Governorís Office and a selection panel comprised of an advisor to the Governor, the Executive Director of the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors, and two consumers narrowed the field to six finalists. The selection panel then interviewed the six finalists, recommending two to Governor Racicot. Following personal interviews with these two individuals, the Governor appointed Ms. Adee.

Ms. Adee holds two Masterís degrees: one in Education from Harvard University, and one in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University. She also has a solid background of experience in education, health care, and public service:

As the Mental Health Managed Care Ombudsman, Ms. Adee will work independently on the staff of the disabilities oversight agency, the Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors, and will also provide information and advice directly to the Governor. As mandated by Senate Bill 534, the Ombudsman "shall represent the interests of consumers of services with the contractor or the Department of Public Health and Human Services" and will play an important role in shaping the evolving mental health system. Ms. Adeeís primary job will be to work directly with consumers to assist them in accessing services and in resolving problems in obtaining services.

Beginning on Monday, August 2, Ms. Adee can be reached at:

Mental Health Managed Care Ombudsman
Mental Disabilities Board of Visitors
P.O. Box 200804
Helena, Montana 59620


The Mental Health Managed Care Ombudsman office is located at:

1412 1/2 8th Avenue
Helena, Montana
(one block north of the Capitol building)


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