The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has created a new top-level job overseeing two divisions. The agency named one of its key directors, Dave Richard, as a deputy secretary to run the divisions.

Richard will be deputy secretary of behavioral health and developmental disabilities services. That role oversees the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services and the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities.

He has been with the state agency since May 2013, serving as the mental health division director. His salary will remain $150,000.

Before joining DHHS, Richard was executive director of The Arc of North Carolina for 24 years. That organization advocates for children and adults with mental retardation or developmental disabilities.

Dr. Courtney Cantrell has been named acting director for the mental health division. She has been a policy adviser in the division, and worked on Medicaid reform.

Cantrell and Dale Armstrong, the recently named director of the health care facilities division, will report to Richard.

Staff writer Craig Jarvis

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