Cobb County Community Services Board to contract with Highland Rivers Health for interim executive leadership beginning July 1

SMYRNA, Georgia – May 4, 2020 – Cobb County Community Services Board (CCCSB) today announced it will contract with fellow community service board Highland Rivers Health for executive leadership beginning July 1.

According to the agreement, Highland Rivers CEO Melanie Dallas will serve as interim chief executive for CCCSB for a six-month period – through the end of 2020 – following the planned retirement of CCCSB CEO Foster Norman on June 30.

“The past few years have been challenging for community service boards across Georgia and Cobb County Community Services Board has worked to face those challenges head-on while also maintaining services in our community,” said Norman. “The agreement with Highland Rivers provides solid executive leadership for our agency while also giving us time to assess the best strategies for sustainable operations in the future.”

“I think this is a great opportunity to explore how this type of arrangement might positively impact the delivery of critical behavioral services across the communities both our agencies serve – and that is the priority for everyone,” said Highland Rivers’ Dallas. “Regardless of what options our agencies might choose to pursue at the end of this agreement, the opportunity for collaboration will only strengthen our system.”

Both Cobb County Community Services Board and Highland Rivers Health are part of a state-wide network of community service boards (CSB) designated by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), which provides partial funding to each of the state’s 24 CSBs.

Collectively, the state’s CSBs function as Georgia’s behavioral health and developmental disability safety-net, generally serving low-income and uninsured individuals who otherwise would not have access to services for mental health, substance use disorders, or intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Although the two agencies serve different geographic areas and populations – CCCSB serves one county with a population of approximately 760,000, while Highland Rivers serves 12 counties with a population of nearly 1 million – both agencies provide the same services in the communities they serve. Three of the counties served by Highland Rivers – Cherokee, Bartow and Paulding – border Cobb County and in some instances individuals have received services from both agencies.

The governing boards of both CCCSB and Highland Rivers Health have approved the interim agreement, as has the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Dallas is expected to being meeting with Cobb staff in the coming weeks and any announcement concerning the agency’s future plans will be made before the end of 2020.

About Highland Rivers Health
Highland Rivers Health provides comprehensive treatment and support services for adults, children and families, and veterans affected by mental health disorders, intellectual developmental disabilities and addictive disease. One of the state’s largest public safety net providers, Highland Rivers operates more than two-dozen treatment facilities across a 4,400-square mile area of Northwest Georgia that includes Bartow, Cherokee, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk and Whitfield counties, and serves nearly 16,000 individuals annually. Highland Rivers is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and is a Tier 1 safety net Core Provider for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. For more information, visit

About Cobb Community Services Board
Cobb County Community Services Board (CCCSB) is the public safety net for those who face behavioral health challenges and/or who have intellectual/developmental disabilities and are uninsured and underinsured. We provide effective, innovative care and appropriate resources-offering children, adolescents and adults hope, empowerment, and purpose. Visit


For Cobb County Community Services Board
Melissa O'Brien, Communications and Public Relations Specialist
(770) 429-5000, ext. 1102; [email protected]

For Highland Rivers Health
Mike Mullet, Community Relations Director
(770) 265-4250; [email protected]

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