FSSA Names Leadership Team to Oversee New Neuro-Diagnostic Institute

FSSAINDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) today announced the hiring of two key leaders who will oversee the design, construction and operations of the new Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute and Advanced Treatment Center. The institute, which was announced by Governor Mike Pence in December, is scheduled to begin serving patients in 2018. Construction on the facility will begin this year. The new facility will be a key component of the state’s initiative to improve Indiana’s network of state-operated mental health facilities.

Jerry Sheward, M.D., will serve as chief medical officer. Dr. Sheward is a native of Frankton, Ind., and attended Wabash College before receiving his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. For the last 25 years, Dr. Sheward has provided medical leadership to Aspire Indiana Inc., a leading community mental health center serving multiple counties in central Indiana. While at Aspire, Dr. Sheward has also participated in the creation of an electronic medical records company and consulted managed care companies on quality and utilization management.

FSSA Secretary John J. Wernert, M.D., cited Dr. Sheward’s leadership in public mental health along with his additional expertise in clinical technologies such as tele-psychiatry as important qualifications for the role. Dr. Sheward will begin in his position at FSSA in March.

FSSA also announced the hiring of Joshua Scism to the role of chief operations officer. Scism currently serves as senior project manager for FSSA. He has over 20 years experience in the public and private sectors designing and implementing business and technology solutions to improve and modernize operations. Scism attended the University of Mississippi and holds a Master in Business Administration in health care management from Indiana Wesleyan University as well as various credentials in process improvement engineering, project management and health information systems.

“This duo has the right combination of wisdom and wherewithal to bring the new institute to life and fulfill Governor Pence’s vision of establishing a new beacon of hope for Hoosiers with mental illnesses and addictions,” said Dr. Wernert. “Our next exciting step will be to break ground on this facility this year and continue to work toward a more integrated statewide mental health network that significantly improves our ability to diagnose and treat Hoosiers with mental and substance abuse disorders.”

The new 159-bed institute is projected to have the capacity to treat 1,500 patients each year. Located on the campus of Community East Hospital in Indianapolis and operated in partnership with Community Health Network, the new institute will better equip the state of Indiana to diagnose patients and place them more efficiently and effectively into the most appropriate treatment settings within the state’s mental health system.

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