Iowa's mental health services seeks two leaders instead of one to replace outgoing administrator

One will oversee facilities; other to take charge of community-based services

Rick Shults, administrator for Mental Health and Disability Services for the Iowa Department of Human Services, speaks a
Rick Shults, administrator for Mental Health and Disability Services for the Iowa Department of Human Services, speaks at the Eldora Boys Training School on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Shults is retiring in early 2020, and the state is seeking two administrators to lead Mental Health and Disability Services after Shults' departure. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The division within the Department of Human Services that handles mental health services in Iowa is splitting its leadership position in two.

The Mental Health and Disability Services Division is seeking to hire two administrators to replace the one longtime division administrator who will retire in the coming weeks, a move department officials say will ensure adequate focus on the expanding mental health services in Iowa.

The Iowa Council on Human Services approved the initiative in their Wednesday meeting.

The positions have been posted on the Iowa Department of Administrative Services website.

In splitting the administrator role, the duties also will be split.

According to the job posting, one division administrator will oversee the state’s facilities, which are two psychiatric hospitals, two residential treatment facilities for people with intellectually disabilities, the boys’ state training school in Eldora and a civil commitment unit for sexual offenders in Cherokee.

The second division administrator will be in charge of community-based services and targeted case management of Iowans in the state’s Medicaid program. That administrator will oversee Iowa’s 14 county-based Mental Health and Disability Service Regions, as well as private inpatient psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric residential treatment facilities through the state.

According to the job postings, the annual salary for each position will range between $97,094 to $151,632.

The jobs are based in Des Moines.

DHS officials at the Council on Human Services meeting did not comment on the timeline of the hiring process.


The positions were posted to replace Rick Shults, longtime administrator of Mental Health and Disability Services. He is set to retire in the coming weeks.

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