April 28, 2014 (Jackson, MS) – After more than 40 years of public service, Edwin C. LeGrand, III, is planning to retire. Having served as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) since 2007, he will be departing on June 30, 2014.
employee, having started his career more than 40 years ago as a direct care worker at North Mississippi Regional Center (NMRC) in Oxford.
LeGrand also served as Deputy Director of DMH for four years. He served as Director of the Bureau of Mental Retardation and was the Director of the Hudspeth Regional Center in Rankin County from 1982-1995. He began his career with DMH in 1974 at NMRC, where he served in many capacities, including Personnel Director/Assistant Director and Director of the Education Department. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Mississippi.
“Mr. LeGrand’s years of service rising through the ranks from direct care services to administrator roles gave him the unique breadth of experience and knowledge to superbly manage this diverse and multifaceted agency,” said Dr. Jim Herzog, Chair of the Board of Mental Health.
Since LeGrand began serving as Executive Director, he has focused on expanding community-based services and concentrating on a recovery-oriented system of care. Under his leadership, DMH improved access to crisis stabilization services. An individual can now receive services on a voluntary basis before they decompensate to the point of meeting commitment criteria. He has consistently worked towards breaking down barriers and increasing the public’s understanding that mental health is an essential part of overall health. He reminds Mississippians every chance he gets that people should seek treatment for substance abuse and mental health with the same urgency as they would any other health condition.
LeGrand has been instrumental in the transition of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the community. LeGrand’s goal has always been to help people restore, rebuild and reclaim control of their lives by increasing their resiliency and focusing on their strengths.
“Mr. LeGrand has been an irrepressible advocate for mental health in Mississippi for many many years,” said Dr. Herzog. “The Board has been so appreciative of his unflagging efforts in sustaining the highest quality of services and diligently working to serve the citizens of Mississippi. He has been remarkable in his ability to secure funding in difficult economic times and then masterfully managing financial and personnel resources. He can answer any question about services, funding or policy in a succinct yet informative way that communicates a genuine caring of those receiving or providing services.”
In addition to his extensive experience at DMH, LeGrand has continued to be active in numerous professional organizations, including the Mississippi Certified Public Managers Society, Mississippi Chapter of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and Mississippi Chapter of the Association of Mental Health Administrators. LeGrand was elected by his colleagues in state government three times as the State Agency Representative on the Board of the Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System.
LeGrand currently serves on the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services Board. He is also a graduate of the Stennis Institute of Government. LeGrand holds several professional licenses and certifications including: Certified Public Manager, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Licensed Mental Health/Mental Retardation Administrator, Certified Mental Retardation Therapist, and Certified Mental Health Therapist.
Currently, LeGrand resides in Rankin County with his wife Shelly.
“Mr. LeGrand will be sorely missed, but his legacy of leadership, vision and passion for mental health in Mississippi will continue for years to come. We on the Board are happy for him be able to step away to enjoy retirement which he richly deserves,” said Dr. Herzog.