by Max Brantley
We told you that former legislator Jay Bradford was heading to a state appointment in the Beebe administration. Here's the news release:
Governor Mike Beebe today announced that he has appointed Jay Bradford of Pine Bluff to be Director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services at the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services.
“Jay Bradford has spent more than 20 years as a tireless advocate for the health of Arkansans, especially our most vulnerable citizens,” Beebe said. “The fact that Jay is willing to continue his public service and dedication to health issues will benefit all of us.”
Bradford, 66, served 24 years in the Arkansas Legislature, 16 as a senator and the past eight as a representative. During his tenure in the House, Bradford served as Speaker Pro Tempore and chaired the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee. He was the lead sponsor of the Tobacco Settlement Funding Bill mandating that all settlement funds go to health care. In the Senate, Bradford was elected President Pro Tem and formulated Arkansas’ welfare-reform law. He was also the lead sponsor of the “Any Willing Provider” statute.
A graduate of Henderson State University, Bradford has received numerous awards for his legislative work, including national awards from the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. He received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2006.
This is the division that once was known as Mental Health Services. It includes the state Hospital, the Benton Services Center, community mental health programs and alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs. The position has been open since Pat Dalhgren resigned and has been run in the interim by John Althoff.