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Mayor Kenney Announces Permanent Appointment of Jill Bowen as Commissioner of DBHIDS

December 17, 2020

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PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney today announced the permanent appointment of Dr. Jill Bowen as Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS).

“It’s always a pleasure to find that the very best choice to fill a crucial position is someone right here with us,” said Mayor Kenney. “That is certainly the case with Jill Bowen. During her tenure with the City, I have come to know Dr. Bowen as a tireless advocate for those struggling with behavioral health issues and those who provide services for this population. Finding someone with her tremendous qualifications, who already knows the City well, is particularly important now—nine months into a pandemic that has challenged so many Philadelphians.”

Dr. Bowen has served as Acting Commissioner since early October, following the resignation of David T. Jones. Her permanent appointment as Commissioner follows a national search to fill the position. She previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Finance for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. Dr. Bowen has more than 30 years’ experience in behavioral health services and management, including an extensive track record in staff development and training, organizational management, and strategic planning.

“I am grateful to Mayor Kenney, Managing Director Tumar Alexander, and Deputy Managing Director Eva Gladstein for this tremendous opportunity to serve Philadelphians as Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services,” said Dr. Bowen. “The importance of behavioral health and wellness has never been more evident. It will be my great pleasure to lead the extraordinary mission-driven teams that comprise DBHIDS and who work tirelessly on prevention, treatment, and support for those with behavioral health and/or intellectual disabilities challenges. I look forward to engaging with our communities, our providers, and those with lived experience; working together to address trauma, achieve equity, and ensure the highest quality care for those in need.”

As Commissioner, Dr. Bowen will continue to oversee all seven divisions within DBHIDS, including Behavioral Health Services, Intellectual disAbility Services, Behavioral Health and Justice Division, and Community Behavioral Health (Behavioral Health Medicaid Managed Care Organization). She has focused on high priority vulnerable populations and communities impacted by multiple traumas including housing insecurity and opioid use disorders.

During 2020, Dr. Bowen developed and measured the department’s work-from-home transition and strategy prompted by the pandemic. She will continue to lead the Core Executive Management Team working to address the needs of Philadelphians, coordinating with the nearly 200 providers within the Community Behavioral Health and Behavioral Health divisions’ networks to achieve the vision and mission of DBHIDS and the City of Philadelphia.

Prior to joining DBHIDS, Dr. Bowen was senior adviser for mental health with the Office of the Mayor in New York City. In that role, she oversaw the implementation of ThriveNYC, an inter-agency initiative designed to close gaps and provide enhanced and innovative programming within New York’s mental health service continuum. Dr. Bowen trained as a clinical psychologist and received her doctoral degree at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies/Adelphi University.


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