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Thanks and So Long
From the Director's Desk

Article Stephen Kaplan, Director, Behavioral Health and Recovery Service

This is my last article as your Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services as I will be retiring at the end of September. It has been an honor and privilege to work in and for San Mateo County in service to our BHRS clients, consumers and families. During my tenure I witnessed – often first hand – extraordinary courage, perseverance and optimism in the face of daunting challenges and doing so has inspired and motivated me daily. I have been fortunate to be part of an amazingly dedicated BHRS team, to work with a provider network and advocates committed to serving our clients, consumers and families, and to be part of a County leadership team whose commitment to providing the best possible service has made my work deeply rewarding.

Our Board of Supervisors, both present and past, have steadfastly and meaningfully supported our work and mission by funding our programs and services, showing up to BHRS events to honor clients and staff, being present at the opening of new facilities and by allocating funding to implement new programs. Their support, coupled with our dedicated staff and committed provider network and advocacy groups, has rightfully earned San Mateo County an outstanding reputation for excellence in innovative consumer-focused service delivery. 

It is impossible in a short article to name everyone who made my tenure as Director so rewarding and who contributed in big ways and small to our collective successes, but a few people must be mentioned by name.

Louise Rogers, our Health System Chief, has been not only my boss but a trusted and deeply valued colleague, supporter, mentor and friend. We have shared ideas, planned together, designed and implemented enhanced services, debated strategy, shared tragic events and difficult times, problem solved, commiserated over setbacks and celebrated successes. My respect and appreciation for Louise is enormous and I have been a better director because of her support and commitment to excellence.

John Maltbie, our County Manager, has made major contributions to our work through his willingness to take a chance on supporting new initiatives even when the outcomes were uncertain and when other pressing county initiatives could have benefited from the resources given to BHRS. His support, objectivity and candor have been invaluable.

My outstanding management team, past and present, has worked tirelessly to fulfill our mission and our myriad responsibilities. They implement, manage and oversee our programs with dedication and a deep commitment to our clients and consumers, and they have supported me throughout my tenure for which I am deeply grateful.

Anita Bock, my wife, who also has a human services background, has given me sage advice, and provided a common sense, optimistic and ethical approach to problem solving whenever I brought home challenges or difficult issues for discussion. I always felt more prepared for whatever lay ahead as a result of our analysis and discussions and I am a more effective leader because of Anita’s support.

In lieu of thanking and recognizing everyone by name for their individual accomplishments, support and hard work, I am listing below some of the major services, projects and initiatives that we have brought to fruition over the past 12 years. These programs and services are a testament to what made my job as rewarding as it has been and stand as a tribute to the passion, dedication and commitment of the BHRS staff, San Mateo County leadership team, consumer advocacy groups, BHRS provider network, and the clients, consumers, and families that BHRS serves:

I have been immensely proud to serve as your director and I look forward to hearing about the great work of BHRS in the future.

With my warmest regards, best wishes for continued success, and grateful thanks for 12 wonderful years.