Heather Rae Appointed New CEO of Common Ground

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(Common Ground Press Release, Jan. 12, 2015)

The Board of Trustees of Common Ground has announced the appointment of Heather Rae as the new chief executive officer. She will assume responsibilities on September 27, 2015 and will succeed Tony Rothschild, who is retiring from the agency after 25 years of service.

Rae has been part of the Common Ground team for almost four years, joining the agency in 2011 as vice president of Programs and Services.  Since then, she has made major contributions to Common Ground, guiding the agency’s shift from a hospital assessment model of practice to a community crisis center model, where all who are in crisis are welcomed regardless of insurance seed9239_Chene_Jan2014or ability to pay.

As a result of this shift, people now come to Common Ground’s Oakland Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service (OACIS) program BEFORE hospitalization is needed and the crisis center now hospitalizes approximately 20% of people served, a more than 50% reduction, resulting in millions of tax payer dollars re-invested in the crisis safety-net and community based services. This accomplishment, along with others, led to Common Ground being recognized as Crain’s 2014 Best Managed Nonprofit.

“I am honored to have been selected as Common Ground’s next CEO, and realize that I am following an icon,” Rae said. “I am inspired by the success of the community crisis center model Detroit_GT_05in Pontiac and the youth and family programs in Royal Oak and look to expand access to a variety of funders both public and private.  Common Ground will continue to grow and innovate,” she added.

Rae’s appointment was recommended by a selection committee composed of members of Common Ground’s Board of Trustees, after a process that took more than a year.  Don Campbell, past Board Chair, and Chair of the search committee, explained how they arrived at their decision.  “Since joining Common Ground, Heather has exhibited both strong managerial capabilities and visionary ideas, many of which she has implemented with determination and skill. We undertook a lengthy and structured approach to selecting our next CEO, and are modern natural baby inprogressconfident that we have made the right choice.”

Prior to joining Common Ground, Rae was a Service Network manager for Access and Utilization at the Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority (OCCMHA).  She holds a Master of Arts degree in clinical and humanistic psychology from the Michigan School for Professional Psychology.

During her down time, Rae enjoys spending time with loved ones, golfing, boating, and going to the gym.  She explained, “In the crisis services world, it is important to relax, laugh, and spend time with people who inspire.”

About Common Ground steele lindbloom ad

Helping people in need for more than 40 years, Common Ground is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping youths, adults and families in crisis.  The agency’s 24-hour resource and crisis helpline(800-231-1127), youth and family services, emergency psychiatric services and other programs throughout Oakland and Genesee Counties are a lifeline for runaway and homeless youth, families in crisis, victims of crime, people with mental illness and others in critical situations.

Common Ground provides professional and compassionate services to 70,000 people a year.  All agency programs are accredited by Council on Accreditation for Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF).  Most services are free of charge and 93% of funds received go to direct service.  The agency operates a budget of more than $12 million annually.

For more on Common Ground go to www.commongroundhelps.org.

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