The Peak team gives many heartfelt thanks to Dr. Birney for his commitment, service, inspiration and leadership. We wish him the best in his next adventure!
David H. Birney, Ph.D., the executive Director of Peak Wellness Center since 1990, retired from his post in late July of 2015.
Dr. Birney saw the agency through many changes—from the significant overall growth in facilities, budget, staff and programming, to the implementation of Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), to the recent rebranding of the organization.
I appreciate the privilege of working with so many great Board members, wonderful employees, the Wyoming Department of Health, legislators, colleagues in the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers (WAMHSAC), our many community partners, and the many clients who are members of the Peak Wellness Center family.
Dr. David Birney, Executive Director (retired)
Peak Wellness Center
Contributions to the Wyoming economy
When Dr. Birney began as executive director, Peak had a budget $3 million to serve residents of Albany, Goshen, Laramie and Platte Counties. After fluctuations in recent years, the budget stands today at $17.3 million. The agency employs more than 200 people in the four-county region, now annually contributing $9 million in salaries to the regional economy.
Expanding regional access to comprehensive mental health care
Under Dr. Birney’s tenure Peak grew into one of the largest counseling centers in the state of Wyoming, offering greater regional access to individual and family therapy, child psychiatry (one of the few programs in the state), case management, intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse, and residential programs for clients in mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Among Peak’s facilities expansion overseen by Dr. Birney’s were the building of new clinics in each county served and the addition of 93 new beds of longer-term housing, 42 residential treatment beds for men and women in substance abuse treatment, and a new short term Crisis Stabilization program in Cheyenne.
Leading the Peak to internationally recognized standards of excellence
As a testimony to Dr. Birney’s leadership and the expertise, hard work and commitment of Peak’s team, in 2002 the agency achieved accreditation with the independent nonprofit Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Every year since then, Peak has maintained this internationally recognized CARF accreditation for the highest standard of care that a counseling center can obtain.
Evolving with the times
Under Dr. Birney’s leadership, the agency changed its name from Southeast Wyoming Mental Health Center, created its first website and invested in a state-of-the-art electronic health records system. This year Peak refreshed its corporate identity and re-launched its website, greatly expanding the breadth and depth of online information available to current and prospective clients.
Serving more than 50,000 residents of Wyoming
Amidst the growth and evolution of Peak in recent decades, Dr. Birney remains most proud of having been at the helm of an agency that provided quality mental health and substance abuse treatment counseling services to well over 50,000 clients in communities in southeastern Wyoming.