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DBHDS News Releases


William N. Cook Named Director at
Southern Virginia Mental Health institute


Richmond – Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services (DBHDS) Acting Commissioner John Pezzoli announced that William N. Cook has been selected to serve as the new facility director at Southern Virginia Mental Health Institute (SVMHI). Cook will start his new position on May 25, 2014.


“Bill has an impressive record of service within the public and private sectors of the behavioral health field,” said DBHDS Acting Commissioner John Pezzoli. “His background and skills will be of great benefit to DBHDS and SVMHI and will help ensure both high quality, effective operations at the hospital and strong, successful relationships with the community.”


Cook is the current Director of Behavioral Health Services at Danville Pittsylvania Community Services. His responsibilities there range from directing behavioral health clinical and financial operations to managing licensing and Medicaid compliance to collaborating with partners at DBHDS, DSS, the criminal justice system and many other community partners.


In addition to his service at Danville Pittsylvania Community Services he has also worked in various mental health positions at Piedmont Community Services and Blue Ridge Behavioral Health Care.  His work in the private sector included serving at the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and at Continental Health Promotions, a company he helped found and operated as its president and CEO.


Cook earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia, a Master’s degree in health administration from Georgia State University and a M.S. in psychology from Radford University.


SVMHI is a 72-bed state mental health facility in Danville, Virginia.