Richard Seager is stepping down as president and CEO of Journey Health System, and Guy Signor has been appointed his successor.

Seager, who has been with Journey more than 12 years, will remain as president for six to 12 months to effect the transition. In last week’s board meeting, the agency’s board named Signor, the current chief operating officer, as CEO effective Thursday.

When contacted, Signor said he wanted to “thank our board members for their leadership — I take this position seriously and appreciate the opportunity to advance the organization in the future.”

Signor said he believes his strengths coming into this role come from his experience in having held several positions in the agency over the past 23 years.

“I began at the Children’s Home of Bradford as a direct care worker, where I learned the true meaning of our mission to care for those who are unable to care for themselves,” Signor said. “I understand how rewarding the jobs are working directly with our clients as well as the challenges these professionals face.”

Signor further noted that his goal as CEO for the agency “is to maintain our commitment to all the communities we currently serve and to continue to expand our services to those populations that may be in regions where behavioral health services are not readily available.”

Signor said he will focus on growth of the health system, through expanded programming at all the affiliated companies, as well as through seeking new partners or affiliates.

“With over 1,000 employees in our health system, I will also work to ensure we remain a quality employer with competitive wages, benefits and offer opportunities for staff growth and development,” he added.

As a native of Bradford, Signor said he would like to spend more time in the near future educating the region on the vast amount of diverse behavioral health services provided at Beacon Light.

“Some of the community members still remember when Beacon Light was an orphanage for less fortunate children,” he commented. “It has changed and grown significantly since those early days, thanks to the visions of Rick Seager and Tom Urban.”

During his tenure, Seager orchestrated the expansion of Beacon Light from a Bradford-based mental health service provider with just over $25 million in revenue, to Journey Health System with five affiliate members, a physician practice, and more than $84 million in revenue.

Prior to leading JHS, Seager grew Deerfield Behavioral Health Inc. in Warren from two employees and $200,000 in yearly revenue, to over 90 staff members and $7.5 million in revenue. He also pioneered the development, sales and marketing for LOCUS Software, a national “level of care” placement standard for mental health care that is now mandated in at least 14 states.

In addition, he organized and developed two professional practices in Northwestern Pennsylvania with over 17 psychiatrists.

Despite his strong track record of financial growth and strategic partnerships over his long career, Seager still sees his roots as a mental health technician and emergency service intake worker as most influential on his profession.

“When you sit with an individual or family in crisis, struggling with the effects of mental illness, and desperate for hope or a belief that help is possible — and then to be able to offer that possibility to them — that is why I do what I do,” Seager said. “It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day politics, finances, or paperwork of running a large organization like Journey Health System. But reminding myself of the individuals being served — being helped — each day through our programs is what has inspired my commitment to service.”

Seager lives in Warren with his wife Patricia Durbin.

Signor talked about what the future holds for the agency as well.

“We already have plans underway for a multi-million dollar building project in St. Marys through our affiliate Dickinson Center as well as new mental health programs expanding into Brookville and Kittanning,” Signor said. “My initial goal is to continue strategic program development and build upon the initiatives started under Mr. Seager’s leadership.”

Signor, a Bradford native, joined JHS in 1996, then known as The Children’s Home of Bradford. He has held many positions within the organization during his tenure and has been in management positions over the past 15 years. In his most recent role as the COO and vice president of institutional advancement, Signor was responsible for human resources, compliance, accreditation, facilities, information technology, fund development, marketing and communications.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University. For 10 years, Signor served on the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce where he was the past president. He lives in Bradford with his wife Dara, and their two children, Ellery and Mitchell.

Journey Health System supports the following behavioral health affiliates: Beacon Light Behavioral Health System, Beacon Light Adult Residential Services, Deerfield Behavioral Health, Dickinson Center, Forest-Warren Mental Wellness Association, and Stairways Behavioral Health.

The Journey Health System Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each organization which deliver mental health care to 21 counties across Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.journeyhealth.org.

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