ALBANY — Sebrina Barrett, the executive director of the Association for Community Living (ACL), announces the appointment of Liz Smith as President of its Board of Directors. Smith will lead the 14-member board which helps provide education, support and advocacy to members serving over 40,000 New Yorkers diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness.
Smith is the chief executive officer of Unity House of Cayuga County Inc. where she has worked for more than 25 years, starting out a member of the relief staff. Smith has been a member of the ACL Board of Directors for six years where she has helped lead the organization in advocating for adequate funding for mental health housing and the support needed for residents’ recovery. Through this proven leadership her colleagues unanimously elected her as President of the Board.
“I have been fortunate to have worked in many facets of the human service industry, first as a relief staff, later as a Medicaid support specialist and now as executive director,” said Smith. “In this time much has changed in the ways our society cares for those in need, but the one thing that hasn’t is the dedication of our employees. Our employees across the state face many challenges including more regulatory requirements and less funding, but their care and compassion for their residents is second to none. We must advocate for our residents and our employees to continue to provide opportunities for growth and success.”
Smith has served as the executive director of Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc. since 2009. She has a bachelor’s degree in health administration and a master’s in healthcare management and policy. Smith leads a team of approximately 450 employees in an agency with more than 45 facilities, and a $23 million budget.
“Liz is a wonderful representative of our industry,” said Barrett. “Her compassion led her into this field and her focus and drive have benefited countless New Yorkers in Central and Western regions and beyond. Liz has a proven track record of identifying challenges and working with her colleagues to find solutions, so that we can provide continuous and compassionate care despite decades of erosion of resources and funding. We are looking forward to her leadership of our board, and we are proud to stand with her in advocating for the most vulnerable population in New York State.”
Smith was a presenter at this year’s 42nd Annual ACLAIMH Conference, taking place at The Sagamore Resort. The ACLAIMH Annual Conference is the top mental health housing conference and trade show in New York State.