February 1, 2024
Mr Powell had been interim CEO since July 1, 2023 after the retirement of Geoff Soma.
Board chair Helen Taylor said Mr Powell brought a wealth of experience in drug and alcohol treatment and mental health.
“During his period as acting CEO, Mark has displayed an ability to enthusiastically foster a positive team and introduce further network connections for WRAD Health,” Ms Taylor said.
“His work in family liaison has been immensely positive and supportive. Mark has a wonderful compassion for humankind and works tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes.”
Ms Taylor said Mr Powell was continuing to strive for the establishment of the Lookout Rehabilitation facility. “Mark communicates regularly with the Department of Health, Local members, other residential rehabilitation centres, Philanthropic groups, VAADA, and collects data to drive our dream,” she said.
Mr Powell, who had worked in the role one day a week in the lead-up to Mr Soma’s retirement and has been acting in the position full-time since July 1, 2023, said he embraced the challenge.
“For many years I have been a clinician delivering services to people, so moving into the role of CEO was a big change of focus but I’ve really embraced leading an agency that does a tremendous job for the community,” Mr Powell said.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to help influence change and the ability to connect with the community, other agencies, peak bodies and departmental heads which doesn’t happen so much in a clinical role but has been a real benefit.”
Mr Powell said he was enjoying the opportunity to talk to local community groups about the role of WRAD Health and to build on the organisation’s positive reputation.
“That has been rewarding because we want to get a message to the community that change is possible,” he said. “I get a lot of good questions about what we do and the services we offer and people appreciate the services we offer.”
Mr Powell said he was keen to continue delivering a service that meets the complex health needs of people across the region. “We’re constantly looking at ways we can grow our service offerings,” he said.
“We now offer psychological services, dietitian, dual diagnosis programs as well as expanded bulk billing medical services. One good example is a program connecting with homeless people that removes some of the barriers to them accessing treatment.
“Ultimately, we want to be a service that is responsive to people with all types of complex health needs.”
Mr Powell said he was proudly taking up the mantle to lead the drive for the Lookout Rehabilitation Centre. “The community supports this project and we’re not dropping the baton on it,” he said.
Mr Powell joined WRAD Health in 2019 as Senior Alcohol and Other Drug Clinician before moving into the role of Operations Manager in 2020.
He has worked in mental health and alcohol and other drug fields for more than 30 years.
Chris Kendall is continuing as interim operations manager in addition to his role as clinical coordinator.
Family voices need to be heard
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WRAD Health CEO Mark Powell has backed calls by families for a harm reduction approach towards people with addiction rather than a punitive stand. Speaking on the eve of International Family Drug Support Day on February 24, Mr Powell said WRAD Health strongly supported the engagement of families and recognised the important role they play…
New report highlights alcohol concerns
05th Feb 2024
WRAD Health is concerned that parents need more information on alcohol in response to the Australia Drug Foundation’s new report http://tinyurl.com/mu9demcj Alcohol is the number one primary substance use issue for people in south-west Victoria and has remained so year-on-year. WRAD Health CEO Mark Powell said alcohol was an embedded part of our culture so…
Mark Powell confirmed as new CEO
01st Feb 2024
WRAD Health has confirmed its new CEO with Mark Powell being formally appointed after seven months acting in the role. Mr Powell had been interim CEO since July 1, 2023 after the retirement of Geoff Soma. Board chair Helen Taylor said Mr Powell brought a wealth of experience in drug and alcohol treatment and mental…
WRAD HEALTH’s vision is to advance the health and wellbeing of those in the South Western Region of Victoria affected by Addictive behaviours and to promote optimal enjoyment of life.
WRAD HEALTH seeks to provide comprehensive, holistic support and treatment to individuals and others affected by addictive behaviors and associated issues.
The philosophy of harm minimisation underpins the delivery of all programs offered by WRAD HEALTH. This principle recognises that people in our society use both licit and illicit drugs, and that drugs can be used in ways that are more or less harmful to individuals, families and society. Harm minimisation offers a number of options designed to reduce the harm of drug use to the user and society.
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