Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Grant Activity: Current Activity Impacting Communities

Building on Arthur Evans' legacy: next steps for behavioral health in Philadelphia

by Joe Pyle, MA,  President of the Scattergood Foundation 
Dr. Arthur C. Evans steps down Friday after 12 years as commissioner of the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services – the name is one of myriad changes, large and small, that came under his watch.  Evans brought tremendous vision and led a system-wide transformation effort focused on recovery, resilience, and self-determination. He embraced everything from prevention, early detection and intervention, to a variety of treatment types for the most serious mental illnesses while infusing the use of evidence-based practices throughout the agency’s work.
Philadelphia will need to work hard to maintain and build upon his accomplishments. Much is at stake. The city’s rate of drug overdose fatalities, driven by the opioid epidemic, is the highest in the state and increasing. External threats to the city’s budget are rising as well. It is critically important to protect the current $1.12 billion annual budget for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS). This budget produces a total economic impact of nearly $4 billion in the city, and supports 25,400 jobs.

Read the full blog on The Public's Health Blog!