By Gina Macris
Rebecca Boss, who has more than 20 years’ experience in behavioral healthcare and the treatment of substance abuse disorders, has been named Director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), the state agency she has run in an interim capacity during the last ten months.
Governor Gina Raimondo and Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Anya Radar Wallack announced the appointment Wednesday, May 3. Boss’ appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.
In a statement, Raimondo said that Boss’ “commitment, leadership and vision over the last 13 years” at BHDDH "have been instrumental in moving a diverse department forward to meet the needs of our residents in a constantly changing service environment. I am pleased to have a strong leader with her depth of knowledge and respect from the community serving as the director at BHDDH.”
Boss, 53, previously deputy director of BHDDH, became acting director when the former department chief, Maria Montanaro, left in June, 2016 after a 17-month tenure.
Boss began her career in residential care for youth and then moved to CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., where she provided clinical services and served in various managerial positions. Boss joined BHDDH in 2004 as administrator for behavioral healthcare and was named deputy director in 2014.
While at BHDDH, she has been recognized locally and nationally for creating innovative programs, including peer support services for emergency room patients who have overdosed.
Boss said she was honored by the appointment. "The Governor and her administration are committed to the populations served by the department,” Boss said.