A Salt Lake County substance abuse and mental-health professional has been chosen as Long Beach’s next Director of Health and Human Services, the City Manager’s office announced Monday. Kelly Colopy will begin her position in Long Beach on September 9, replacing the department’s interim director, Susan Price, who has served since the previous director Ron Arias retired in December.
Colopy comes with nearly two decades of experience in the field and is currently the director of Utah’s largest public mental health network, Optum Salt Lake County, where she manages a network of 220 service providers who distribute approximately $60 million in mental health and substance abuse services.
“My entire career thus far has reflected a personal commitment to working with communities and individuals to support successful and healthy living,” says Colopy in a statement. “I am thrilled to be appointed the city’s next Director of Health and Human Services, and look forward to merging the enthusiasm I have for public health and human services with the city’s commitment to providing quality services.”
Long Beach’s Health and Human Services Department is one of only three city-governed health departments in the state and was established more than 100 years ago with the primary emphasis to control communicable disease. Today, the department’s goal is public health as a whole, ensuring all residents are healthy, both physically and mentally.