Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center names new executive director | Local

Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center names new executive director | Local

The Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center has welcomed a new executive director who will begin her duties on April 12.

Dr. Natashia Smith replaces OAMHC Executive Director Willie Priester, who retired in March.

Smith began her career with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health at the Aiken-Barnwell Mental Health Center in 2004. She comes to OAMHC from the Coastal Empire Community Mental Health Center in Beaufort, where she has served as executive director since 2018.

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“The Coastal Empire MHCs’ loss is the Orangeburg MHC’s gain,” said Deborah Blalock, SCDMH deputy director of community mental health services.

“Dr. Smith brings experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to the Orangeburg community. We are also thankful to Bryant Williams … for serving as interim director during the transition.

“He has been a stabilizing factor between Mr. Priester’s retirement and Dr. Smith’s arrival, and we are fortunate to have him on the SCDMH and OAMHC team,” Blalock said.

OAMHC Board Chairperson Sadie Jarvis said Smith is welcomed at the center “where heroes work.”

“On behalf on the center’s board of directors, I’d like to express how extremely delighted we are to welcome our new director. We are certain that she will provide excellent leadership and ensure this community-based mental health provider remains comprehensive, person centered and recovery focused,” Jarvis said.

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