Charles Krogmeier, director of the state Department of Human Services, said he has appointed Dr. Smith, 44, to lead both the MHI and CCUSO. Smith has been serving as the interim superintendent since the resignation last fall of Dan Gillette, who left to pursue other interests, and has been the CCUSO administrator since 2003. Smith's annual salary will be $123,406.
While the two programs share a campus in Cherokee, Krogmeier said the programs are completely separate. Mental health patients have no contact with patients in the high-security unit for sexual offenders.
Cherokee's Mental Health Institute, one of four in the state, has a total of 43 beds, with 31 devoted to the care of adults with acute mental illness, most of whom are admitted involuntarily. An additional 12 beds are allocated equally to children and adolescents with mental health issues. Most patients stay a matter of weeks.
The CCUSO unit has 80 patients, all men, who have been civilly committed to the program after serving prison sentences. No patient has successfully completed the treatment program since the unit accepted its first patient in 1999.
The two programs together have about 250 employees and a combined budget of about $22 million.