Behavioral health agency hires executive director


Bill Ward. Courtesy Network180

There’s a new leader at a local behavioral health agency.

Bill Ward is taking the executive director role at Grand Rapids-based Network180, effective Aug. 28, according to the agency last week.

“Today’s community mental health system is confronted with enormous financial challenges throughout the state, but I truly believe CMH’s best days are ahead of us,” Ward said. “Network180 is going to lead this effort, building upon the successful system already in place.”

Ward has over 20 years of experience in public service, working on issues within health care, public policy and economic development. His career has focused on mental health, public and affordable housing, land use, aviation business development, information systems and inter-government affairs.

Currently, Ward is the executive director of Southwest Counseling Solutions, a mental health provider that serves 6,000 adults, children and families in Wayne County with an operating budget of $20 million. Southwest was designated by the city of Detroit as the coordinated re-entry agency for the homeless population.

Previously, Ward was chief of staff for the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, the largest Medicaid funds distributor for mental health services in Michigan. The authority serves about 80,000 clients with an annual budget of $750 million.

Ward spent nearly 10 years before that as director of the compliance and capital improvement program for the Detroit Housing Commission.

He was also an airport business redevelopment rep for MAXIMUS to 14 clients throughout North America, with an emphasis on increasing airport non-airline revenue, and held additional roles in county government and medical school research.

Ward co-authored a book chapter on affordable housing for the American Bar Association and taught regulatory seminars on behalf of the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. 

He holds a B.A. in international studies from Michigan State University and an M.P.A. in public policy from Wayne State University.

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