Leadership

 

Wes Mason, Chief Executive Officer & Founder

As CEO of Meridian, Mr. Mason has direct insight into growing a large-scale behavioral health organization in a fiscally responsible manner while also answering the needs of the populations served. He is passionate about creating a meaningful culture for his staff and patients while also building an efficient business with the flexibility to best serve those in need.

One may say that Wes Mason was born to be a leader in behavioral health, and he has certainly become exactly that. The son of a psychologist, he saw first-hand how demanding and rewarding this type of work can be. Mr. Mason began his career in behavioral health right out of high school and never looked back. The results of his life’s work have been evident and astounding. Mr. Mason founded Meridian Behavioral Health in 2012 and began operations in 2013. Just five years later, the company is in six states with nine locations.

Chris Frater – Chief Financial Officer

Chris Frater currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for Meridian Behavioral Health Systems. Mr. Frater brings over 12 years of for profit and non-profit financial behavioral healthcare experience. Before joining Meridian, Chris worked for one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in the country, overseeing individual and multi site operations.

In the role of CFO, Chris oversees the day to day fiscal operation and management of Meridian Behavioral Health Systems and all of its subsidiaries. Throughout his years of experience, Chris has effectively developed several financial management systems, he is also keenly aware of the ever-changing dynamics of the behavioral health industry, and works diligently to ensure the stability of the company’s finances throughout the changes and challenges that continue to exist in this dynamic industry. Mr. Frater remains steadfast and committed to the core Values and Mission of MBHS and providing superior clinical services to those in need.

Edward F. Littlejohn – Chief Operating Officer

Edward F. Littlejohn joins Meridian Behavioral Health Systems as the companies Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to joining Meridian in 2017, Mr. Littlejohn had over 20 years of executive healthcare services experience, including roles at Tenet Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). As Chief Operating Officer for Meridian, Ed oversees the systems and processes for operations at all locations. Mr. Littlejohn believes that the fundamental principles in managing the operations of any quality healthcare organization is to manage from clear communications at all levels of care, and to continually monitor and enhance the delivery of care and services provided to patients.

Edward holds a master of public health degree in health policy and management from Columbia University in New York and a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from California State University, Northridge. A native Californian, Edward enjoys traveling, playing golf and spending time with his wife, son and daughter Monica, Eddie and Kennedy.

Mike Godwin – Vice President

Mike Godwin is the Vice President of Meridian Behavioral Health Systems specializing in Human Resources and other compliance and/or business projects. Prior to working with Meridian, for seven years he was the Vice President of Human Resources for Eggleston, a 700 employee not for profit agency with 18 locations that provides group home residential services and works to empower and employ people with disabilities. Mike also worked as an HR executive for over five years for Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. and has over six years of other company operations, sales and HR experience.

Mike has a Master’s in Business Administration with an International Business concentration from the University of South Carolina. He studied in Dublin, Ireland as well as Columbia and Charleston, SC. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a Business minor from the University of Florida. He has also served as an adjunct professor in the Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources Management degree program for Georgetown University and currently works as an adjunct professor for Old Dominion University for the Strome College of Business. He is the former President of the Hampton Roads Society for Human Resource Management and is a current Board member for the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and a past Board member for the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Mike holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) and the Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) Human Resources national certifications.

Brian T. Hemmert – Vice President Govermental Relations

Currently serving as the Vice President Governmental Relations, Brian T. Hemmert MS, has over 15 years of executive healthcare experience. Brian brings a unique background to Meridian Behavioral Health Systems. Starting as a direct care worker he has worked throughout the continuum of behavioral health services, in large for profit and non-profit settings.

As a clinician, Brian has operated and or overseen operations ranging from inpatient psychiatric care facilities, to outpatient clinics. His focus and attention has always been on providing quality cost effective services, with strong emphasis on the patient and family experience which leads to strong outcomes.

Donna Moen – Vice President Quality Assurance

Prior to joining Meridian in 2013, Donna managed and developed treatment programs in Wisconsin and South Carolina including co-ownership of a private school and residential facility for children with Autism. 

Donna possesses a vast knowledge of inpatient psychiatric standards and residential programing for children and adolescents with severe emotional problems (including at risk youth and children with Developmental Disorders)

Joshua A. Smith – Vice President

Josh Smith currently serves as VP of Indiana Operations. Josh has over 14 years of for-profit behavioral healthcare management experience. Before joining Meridian, Josh worked for one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in the country, overseeing individual and multi-site operations in both inpatient acute psychiatric and child & adolescent residential care. In his current role, Josh oversees facility start-up and acquisition functions for Meridian Behavioral Health Systems and all of its subsidiaries.

Throughout his years of experience, Josh has effectively developed management systems, he is also keenly aware of the ever-changing dynamics of the behavioral health industry, and works diligently to ensure the stability of the operations throughout the changes and challenges that continue to exist in this dynamic industry. Josh remains steadfast and committed to the core Values and Mission of Meridian and providing superior clinical services to those in need.

While Josh’s current day to day focus has been on acquisitions, regulatory compliance, operations, and human resource systems. His philosophy for success in the behavioral health industry is based upon a belief that a holistic, strengths-based treatment modality in a home-like environment is key to helping patients and residents acquire the tools they need to have a happy and healthy lifestyle outside of inpatient and residential treatment.