May 9, 2014 (Jackson, MS) - The Mississippi State Board of Mental Health has appointed Ms. Diana Mikula, of Madison County, as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
Mikula will assume the role July 1, 2014 after Mr. Edwin C. LeGrand III retires. Mikula is a long-term Department of Mental Health (DMH) employee, having started her career at Mississippi State Hospital (MSH) in 1995, serving the last three years as Deputy Executive Director.
“Over the years the Board has been impressed with Ms. Mikula’s extraordinary breadth and depth of experience while serving in the Department,” said Dr. James Herzog, Chair of the Board of Mental Health. “She exhibits an ideal grasp of the important issues facing the Department regarding expanding community-based programs. Her experiences with motivating staff and interfacing with the legislature regarding funding and necessary legislation is very impressive.”
Mikula joined MSH in 1995 as a personnel officer in the Human Resource Division and was later named Director of that Division. In March of 2000, she was promoted to administrator of Whitfield Medical Hospital, a position she held until the promotion to assistant director of MSH in 2004. In September 2007, Mikula was promoted to Director of the Bureau of Mental Health at DMH Central Office.
Mikula received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in health care administration from Mississippi College. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Grand Canyon University in Organizational Leadership. Mikula has also completed the Mississippi Economic Council Leadership Mississippi Program, the John C. Stennis Institute of Government’s State Executive Development Institute, and the Certified Public Managers Program. She currently serves on the DMH Professional Licensure and Certification (PLACE) Review Board.
In addition to her extensive experience at DMH, Mikula has continued to be active in numerous professional organizations, including the Mississippi Hospital Association, and was a former board member of MHA’s Society of Behavioral Health Services. She also formerly served as the vice-president of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Council. In 2003, Mikula was named one of Mississippi’s “Top 40 Under 40" by the Mississippi Business Journal, the first DMH employee to receive this honor. In 2012, Mikula was the recipient of the Albert Randel Hendrix Leadership Award which is presented to a Mississippian who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the field of services for persons with mental illness and/or mental retardation.
Mikula is a Certified Public Manager and a Licensed Mental Health Administrator.
“Ms. Mikula brings a vibrancy and enthusiasm that will serve the Department, its staff and consumers exceptionally well in the years to come,” said Dr. Herzog. “She has a keen vision for the future of mental health in Mississippi and we cannot wait to work with her in this new role.”
Currently, Mikula resides in Madison County with her husband Tom and daughter Megan.