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Dr. Maggie Labarta recently retired as President and Chief Executive Officer for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare after 19 years in that position. Based in Gainesville, Meridian provides comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder treatment, primary care and supportive vocational and housing services with offices in 11 largely rural counties and a 16-county service area. Meridian employs about 800 staff and provides treatment services to almost 25,000 individuals annually, as well providing outreach and prevention services across the community.
During her 36-year tenure at Meridian, Dr. Labarta directed its rural clinics, Children’s Department, and Acute Care Services, including the Crisis Stabilization Unit, becoming CEO in 2000. Labarta has also practiced as a clinical psychologist, specializing in psychological evaluation, primarily within the family law arena, serving as an expert witness in child abuse and other custody matters. She has provided clinical and management training as well as consulting on strategic planning to a number of organizations.
She is currently retired, learning to paint, training an unruly terrier, and doing occasional consulting work, primarily for non-profits. She remains a passionate advocate for those affected by mental illnesses and substance use disorders and the system of care that they depend on.
Labarta has been involved in numerous professional and community organizations, including the Rural Health Partnership, the Boards of Career source North-central Florida, the North Florida Behavioral Health Network, the Florida Council for Community Mental Health, Mental Health Corporations of America, and the Florida Behavioral Health Association. She currently chairs the board of the Mental Health Risk Retention Group. She has been involved in local efforts related to child abuse prevention and treatment, school-based behavioral health services, homelessness, and diverting those with mental illness from the criminal justice system.
Labarta has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Mathematics from Barry University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of Maryland and completed an internship in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida and the VA Medical Center, as well as a residency at Meridian. She has held courtesy appointments at the University of Florida in both the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology.
Please register by Thursday, Feb 6th.