LORAIN, OHIO – Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services (MHARS) Board of Lorain County former Interim Executive Director Elaine Georgas has announced she will retire effective July 30.
“It has been a privilege to serve in various roles over my career to build systems and services that enhance Lorain County’s system of care for prevention, treatment and recovery services to support our residents and their families,” Georgas said. “I cherish the expertise and friendships from our board’s committed staffs and board members, community providers, city, county and state leadership – who I worked alongside – to accomplish what we have done together. My future is still being written.”
Following the merger of the former Lorain County Board of Mental Health and the Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services (ADAS) Board of Lorain County in 2019, Georgas led the newly formed MHARS Board for more than two years as interim Executive Director. In that time, she helped the new MHARS Board navigate the challenging process of merging two staff teams, a new Board of Directors, an integrated budget, blended roster of service providers and consolidated locations among other things. During the process, the MHARS Board also was responsible for communicating those changes to the community, governmental leadership, partner agencies and countless other stakeholders. In early 2021, following an extensive search with the aid of a consulting firm, the Board of Directors announced it had selected a new Executive Director to fill the role, Michael Doud.
“I sincerely thank Ms. Georgas for all she has done to merge the two boards. She has laid a good foundation for the MHARS Board’s important work as we continue to move forward,” Doud said. “I also thank her for her 30 years of service with the ADAS and MHARS Boards on behalf of our staff and the countless others whose lives were bettered by her work.”
In 1991, Georgas joined the staff at the ADAS Board of Lorain County and became Executive Director in 1999 until the merging of the two boards. She holds a B.A. in Finance from Cleveland State University and an Associate of Arts degree from Lorain County Community College.
Some of her civic and other accomplishments include the following:
- Member of Lorain Rotary Club. Past Secretary/Treasurer – Lorain Rotary Memorial Scholarship
- Lorain County Children and Families Council – Past President (2003) and Secretary (2008- 2021)
- Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities – Past president 2018/2019, former chair – Recovery Oriented System of Care Implementation Committee
- Founder – Communities That Care of Lorain County (2003) Lorain County’s Drug Free Communities Coalition and lead developer: Lorain County Opioid Action Team
- Member – Ohio division of Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center – Regional Advisory Board
- Appointed to serve on Ohio’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (Governor Bob Taft)
- Served on development team for SB 57 – a pilot initiative for Lorain County’s First Responders – including law enforcement- to carry and use the life saving device Naloxone in 2013.
- Successful Grant writer securing $15 million in state/federal funding initiatives to benefit Lorain County’s substance abuse and mental health prevention, treatment and recovery services
“I have known and worked with Ms. Georgas for about 15 years, with both the MHARS board and the former ADAS board. In that time, she has demonstrated a strong knowledge of substance use disorders and mental health issues as well as a passion for helping others. She has always gone above and beyond to get the job done,” said MHARS Board of Directors President Dan Urbin. “I wish her well on her retirement and thank her for her service to Lorain County.”
Please save the date for a farewell event that will be held in recognition of Georgas’s tremendous work. All who would like to wish her well are invited to an open house on July 29. More info will be posted soon on the MHARS website at www.mharslc.org.