NC Department of Health and Human Services skip navigation
Official Press Release

Contact: Mark Van Sciver

Date: June 11, 2008

DHHS Secretary Benton Announces Leadership Changes at Central Regional Hospital

RALEIGH – Today Dr. Patsy Christian has indicated her desire to step down from the position of Central Regional Hospital Director and pursue other assignments within the department.

With regret, her request has been approved.  We are appreciative of her dedication to serving the consumers in the state psychiatric hospitals over the years and her commitment to developing the plans to operate the new Central Regional Hospital.  The state will greatly benefit from her continued involvement in the management of the hospitals.

To continue the management task of merging the operations of Umstead and Dix hospitals into the Central Regional team, I have appointed Dr. Michael Lancaster, M.D., as Interim Director of Central Regional Hospital. Dr. Lancaster, a board certified adult psychiatrist as well as child adolescent psychiatrist, is currently Co-Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services as well as the Division’s Chief of Clinical Policy. His extensive knowledge and active involvement in our ongoing planning will assist us as we continue to merge the management operations of John Umstead and Dorothea Dix hospitals to create the Central Regional team.  In addition, I have appointed former Chief of State Operated Services Mike Hennike as Associate Director for CRH. Mike Hennike also has extensive experience having served as the Director of the Murdoch Center in Butner from 1978-2005 and Chief of State Operated Services from 2005-2007.

Dr. Jim Osberg, chief of State Operated Services, will serve as Interim Director of Dorothea Dix to allow Cliff Hood to focus his full attention on the opening of Central Regional Hospital.  Cliff has been serving as Dix Administrator as well as Assistant Director of CHR hospital.

The staff’s willingness to accept these new assignments reflects their personal and professional dedication to the individuals being served in the state psychiatric hospital system.  Their commitment is greatly appreciated. They serve as an example to all of us to keep our focus on consumer services as the first and foremost priority as we go forward.

We will immediately begin the recruitment process to replace the Central Regional Hospital Director.

To enhance and support the efforts of these staff members and to ensure a smooth transition, I have established a Transition Technical Support team to assist the Central Regional Hospital management team. The team will be comprised of staff from the department to serve as an additional resource for the management team to focus on policy refinement, training, hospital unit set up, administrative functions, and communications.

These management adjustments will not negatively impact the transition efforts for the new hospital.  The staff is working on the requisite areas to assure a safe and timely move for the consumers.  The Executive Team and Management Team remain in place and have the ongoing responsibilities for the key transition functions. The experience and expertise that Dr. Mike Lancaster and Mike Hennike bring to the Central Regional Hospital Management Team will benefit everyone involved as we move forward in opening Central Regional Hospital.






Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
FAX (919)733-7447

All Press Releases
Mark Van Sciver
Acting Director