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Geisinger and Acadia Healthcare Appoint Kelly Ankenbrand as CEO of Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Geisinger and Acadia Healthcare have named Kelly Ankenbrand, M.B.A., as chief executive officer for Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast, a new 96-bed inpatient behavioral health hospital being built through a joint venture partnership between Geisinger and Acadia in Moosic.

Ms. Ankenbrand succeeds Jenna Pacini. Ms. Pacini was named CEO in August 2022 with Ms. Ankenbrand as CEO-in-Training and Pacini’s successor. Ms. Ankenbrand completed her training ahead of schedule and with exceptional results. Ms. Pacini will now become the CEO of another Acadia hospital.

In her new role, effective March 6, Ms. Ankenbrand will oversee the development of the facility including staff recruitment and training, clinical programming design and oversight of all key functions leading to the opening of the new hospital.

“I am honored to be named as the new CEO of Geisinger Behavioral Hospital Northeast,” said Ms. Ankenbrand. “The partnership of Geisinger and Acadia Healthcare promises to bring the highest quality of behavioral healthcare to our community. I look forward to being part of this journey as we build a culture of compassion and service with high standards for clinical excellence to meet the needs of the community we serve.”

The joint venture partnership is helping to address the increased need for mental health care in Pennsylvania. According to data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. Three out of 5 Pennsylvania communities do not have enough mental health providers, and more than 1.8 million adults in Pennsylvania have a mental health condition.

Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast is the first of two hospitals that the joint venture plans to build to bring high-quality inpatient behavioral health services to central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The second new freestanding inpatient behavioral health hospital – Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Central – will be constructed in Danville. Both hospitals will serve adult and pediatric patients.

“We are very excited to have a leader of Kelly’s caliber guiding the new hospital in Moosic,” said Dawn Zieger, vice president of psychiatry and behavioral health for Geisinger. “We want to thank Jenna for her strong leadership of the hospital through this important phase of development and for training Kelly for her new role. We are pleased that in partnership with Geisinger, our shared vision of a state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital is on track to become reality in August this year.”

Prior to joining Geisinger Behavioral Health Hospital Northeast, Ms. Ankenbrand served as the Vice President of Behavioral Health Services for the Commonwealth Health Network in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has played a critical role in the delivery of community and hospital-based psychiatric services throughout the surrounding community for the last 25 years.

Ms. Ankenbrand earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English from Wilkes University and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Scranton. Her involvement in the community goes beyond the delivery of care to include the development and implementation of training programs to support first responders and serving as co-president of the NAMI Northeast Region of Pennsylvania.



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