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Behavioral Health Director, Bellingham, WA

Organization: Unity Care NW
Category: Director
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date Job Posted: September 9, 2021
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Unity Care NW is a private, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that has been proudly and successfully serving the greater Whatcom County area since 1982. With clinics located in Bellingham & Ferndale, WA, we offer comprehensive primary medical, behavioral health, and dental care as well as pharmacy services to a diverse and often underserved patient population of all ages. Employing almost 300 caring and compassionate employees, our mission is to increase the years of healthy life in the people & communities we serve. Safety is our priority through the Covid-19 pandemic. To learn more about what we’re doing to ensure the safety of patients and staff, please view the following website:


At Unity Care NW, we value:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation

We’re proud of our inclusive culture and strive to demonstrate our Values in Action in all that we do. We value each individual on our team and aim to onboard a diverse workforce of the very best talent, whose ambitions and values align with ours.


As the Behavioral Health Director, you would be responsible for strategically leading the Behavioral Health (BH) Program and ensuring the provision of high-quality behavioral health care across the organization. 75% of your time would be allotted for administrative duties while 25% would be providing direct patient care. Duties would include:

  1. Providing overall leadership and direction to the Behavioral Health Program in partnership with BH Supervisors and the BH Operations Manager.
    • Assisting in ensuring a long-term view of the Behavioral Health Program and the agency as a whole, facilitating innovation, collaboration, sustainability, and ongoing improvements in the provision of team-based, whole-person care.
    • Developing Behavioral Health Program goals and objectives based on overall strategic and operational plans.
    • Ensuring an appropriately broad portfolio of BH services including Psychiatry, Primary Care Behavioral Health, Adult & Child Counseling, Medication-Assisted Therapy and Substance Use Disorder treatment.
    • Exploring and implementing effective complementary and alternative therapies such as groups, Qigong, acupuncture, yoga, and peer-led programs.
    • Incorporating emerging evidence and best practices into processes, practices, and models of care.
    • Facilitating, monitoring, and communicating Behavioral Health Program performance & addressing and problem-solving issues as needed.
    • Leading and modeling collaboration, teamwork, and integration both within the Behavioral Health Program and across the agency.
  2. Leading, supervising, and managing UCNW’s BH Providers.
    • Overseeing and facilitating the ongoing delivery of safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.
    • Helping develop, and ensuring providers are aware of and adhering to, appropriate clinical guidelines, standards, policies, procedures, and workflows.
    • Holding yourself and the rest of the team accountable for high-quality care and outcomes.
    • Providing ongoing monitoring of individual performance of BH supervisors and assigned BH providers while providing problem-solving, mentoring, and support.
    • Collaborating with the Medical Director on supervision and performance management of psychiatrists and psychiatric ARNPs.
    • Preparing and conducting performance appraisals for assigned providers, including establishing and implementing developmental plans.
    • Performing hiring, promotion, disciplinary actions, and terminations.
  3. Providing strategic leadership and direction to the organization as an active, contributing member of the Senior Leadership Team.
    • Serving as a member of the senior leadership team of the organization, participating in robust dialogue and debate, and contributing to organization-wide decision making and implementation of initiatives.
    • In partnership with other senior organizational leaders, defining organizational priorities and developing strategic and operational plans for the organization.
    • Developing and implementing strategic and operational plans for the Behavioral Health Program, aligning them with organization-wide goals and objectives.
  4. Providing professional behavioral health services to patients in conformity with clinical guidelines and protocols, the code of ethics of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and state and federal laws.
    • Screening, assessing, educating, monitoring and providing brief counseling for patients in accordance with privileges.
    • Providing or facilitating internal or outside referrals to evidence-based treatments as clinically indicated.
    • Providing immediate treatment or referral of behavioral health emergencies.
    • Completing all documentation within required parameters and time frames.
    • Communicating and collaborating with other BH and Medical team members to plan and coordinate care.
    • Participating in the peer review and quality improvement activities.


  • Have a Washington State license as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or Psychologist or be eligible to obtain one from the WA State Department of Health
  • Have “Approved Supervisor” status under the Washington State Department of Health’s requirements for supervising license candidates under Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-809-234 or be eligible to obtain one
  • Possess a Mental Health Professional (MHP) acknowledgment, or be eligible to obtain one, by the Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR)
  • Have direct clinical experience with community health populations, preferably working in an integrated model
  • Be highly skilled at supervising and mentoring employees
  • Have experience in behavioral health program administration, preferably in a medical setting
  • Have knowledge & experience with substance use disorders - licensure or eligibility to be licensed as a Substance Use Disorder Professional in WA State is a plus
  • Have experience administering Medicare and Medicaid programs in Washington State or have experience with other states’ programs
  • Be a proven team player who can adapt to a continually evolving environment with a willingness to embrace & lead positive change
  • Be a hands-on, collaborative leader adept at engaging, developing & communicating with staff while ensuring accountability at all levels
  • Have strong interpersonal skills with a sincere & professional demeanor
  • Be able to understand and respond effectively and with sensitivity to special population groups including those defined by race, ethnicity, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, economic standing & others


  • A collaborative team environment with established Senior Leadership & BH teams
  • Ongoing, in-house leadership training
  • 1-on-1 executive coaching with our Organizational Development Specialist
  • Fully implemented EMR system (AthenaPractice, formerly Centricity) with one-on-one training provided
  • Outpatient clinical work only - no call
  • Competitive compensation package that includes a sign-on/relocation bonus
  • Malpractice insurance with tail coverage
  • Continuing Education benefit
  • Reimbursement of state license renewal fees
  • Generous paid time off
  • Six paid holidays
  • Medical, dental, & vision insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with employer match after 1 year of eligibility
  • Life insurance
  • Voluntary disability, accident & critical illness insurance plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative transportation incentive
  • Wellness reimbursement benefit


Live in a community consistently rated as one of the most desirable in the USA! Nestled on Bellingham Bay at the foot of the Cascade Mountains just a short distance from Seattle, Vancouver, BC, and the San Juan Islands, Bellingham is home to over 80,000 people and surrounded by several charming small towns. Enjoy all the area has to offer:

  • Recreational & Outdoor Activities (Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Snow Boarding, Fishing, Sailing, Kayaking, & Camping)
  • Excellent Schools (University, Community College, Technical School, & Outstanding K-12 Educational System)
  • Small Town or City Living (Unique Shops, Local Festivals, Farmers Markets, Berry Picking, & Community Events)
  • Cultural Activities (Theater, Music, Independent Films, Museums, Art Studios, & Diverse Local Restaurants)


If you are passionate about everyone living their healthiest life, we would love to hear from you! Please visit our Careers Page at or contact Vicki Curtis, Provider Recruiter, at or 360-788-2661. For news on our organization & future job postings, please follow us on LinkedIn at!

Unity Care NW has an Employee Health Program for the safety of our patients and staff. The program requires all employees to receive annual flu immunizations unless an appropriate accommodation is approved.

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