Central Clinic Behavioral Health names next CEO

Central Clinic Behavioral Health will turn to a familiar face to lead it into the future following the retirement of Dr. Walter Smitson, who has served the organization for the last 55 years.

Dr. Kimberly Mages will take over as CCBH’s new president and CEO on Jan. 2.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to guide Central Clinic Behavioral Health into its next 100 years of service, and I look forward to building on the solid foundation built by Dr. Walter Smitson,” Mages said. 

“Our first-class team at CCBH takes great pride in helping individuals connect with services to find hope, healing and well-being,” she continued. “Together, we will continue to provide cutting-edge behavioral health services to meet the needs of Greater Cincinnati.”

Meet Kimberly Mages

Mages is no stranger to CCBH, the oldest outpatient mental health clinic west of the Allegheny Mountains. She began her career there in 2008 as a case manager. Over the past decade-and-a-half, she ascended the ranks to hold multiple leadership positions. 

After earning her clinical licensure, Mages became a therapist and worked in the clinic’s adult division. Her titles over the years include case management supervisor, assistant director of adult services, director of alternative interventions for women, and clinical director of court clinic treatment.

She’s currently CCBH’s chief clinical officer.

Dr. Kimberly Mages

Michael Chaney, CCBH board chair, said there were a number of well-qualified internal and external candidates for the position. In selecting Mages, he cited her professional background, commitment to the organization and “unwavering dedication to behavioral health as integral attributes.”

Mages completed a doctorate in organizational leadership from The Chicago School earlier this month. Before that, she received a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from the Athenaeum of Ohio in Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

“Kimberly Mages has a great passion for our mission, our people and our clients,” Chaney said. “Her extraordinary impact on CCBH and vision for the future inspired great confidence from the board.”

A new era for CCBH

Central Clinic Behavioral Health provides individualized mental health, addiction and forensic services to children, families and adults in the Cincinnati community. The clinic’s 11 Greater Cincinnati locations provide a variety of trauma-informed and evidence-based assessment, treatment and prevention services.

Much of the CCBH growth over the past 100 years occurred under Smitson’s watch. He plans to stay on through Jan. 31 to assist with the transition, as needed. However, Smitson expressed his support of the board’s decision, noting Mages’ familiarity with the clinic and the community she’ll serve. He described CCBH as being in “good hands.”

“After working with Kimberly for 15 years, I know she is an exceptional person with excellent leadership skills who is ideal for this role,” Smitson said. “The board of trustees made the right choice to carry on Central Clinic’s vision.”

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