AUGUSTA — The Augusta Mental Health Institute has a new director, its eighth in three years.
Lynn Duby, state mental health commissioner, has appointed Dr. Benjamin C. Grasso as medical director at the mental health center.
Grasso believes that those who use mental health services can and do recover from their illnesses to lead productive lives in their communities, Duby said.
AMHI Superintendent Rod Bouffard said Grasso is committed to providing quality care.
“His commitment to providing a high level of clinical care, as well as support for staff, will be instrumental in leading AMHI into the 21st century,” Bouffard said.
Grasso is the former director of behavioral health services at Mercy Hospital in Portland. He previously served with the Indian Health Service in Alaska and has taught psychiatry at the University of Virginia. He also worked for the Jackson Brook Institute in South Portland.
Grasso lives in Yarmouth with his wife and two daughters. He replaces Dr. Anne C. Bauer, clinical director of the state Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, who has been serving as the interim administrator of the hospital’s medical staff.
Grasso is the eighth doctor to hold the post of AMHI clinical director since Gov. Angus King sacked the top psychiatrist after a patient killed another patient at the hospital in 1996.