IMPERIAL COUNTY – Two deputy directors have been named to head the major divisions of the Imperial County Department of Behavioral Health Services, agency Director Andrea Kuhlen has announced.
Gabriela Jimenez is now the deputy director for Adult and Older Adult Services and John Grass is deputy director of Youth and Young Adult Services.
“Ms. Jimenez and Mr. Grass bring deep experience and commitment to their work in these important positions that play integral roles in allowing Behavioral Health Services to meet the needs of the diverse Imperial Valley community,” Kuhlen said.
Jimenez oversees a staff that services adults age 26 and over and older adults over age 60. Clients are served at clinics in El Centro, Brawley and Calexico. The division includes the Adult Alcohol and Drug programs.
Jimenez received a bachelor of arts degree in social sciences from the San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus, in Calexico in 2008 and master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of Phoenix in 2013. She also is a state-registered marriage and family therapist intern.
Jimenez joined Behavioral Health in 1998 as a case management technician. She was named a manager in charge of the Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home for children in 2007, a position she held until 2013 when she became a manager for Youth and Young Adult Services.
“As I have grown into my work at Behavioral Health and gained experience I have always been very passionate about helping our community. When you enter administration, you can really work for change to help our community,” Jimenez said.
As deputy director of Youth and Young Adult Services, Grass oversees mental health services for clients between the ages of 12 to 25 at clinics in Brawley and El Centro, as well as adolescent drug and alcohol programs.
Grass earned a bachelor of arts degree with a dual major in psychology and religion from Baylor University in 1979. He received a master of arts degree in counseling from National University in 1982 and master of public administration from SDSU in Calexico in 2006.
Grass has been a state-licensed marriage and family therapist since 1985 and was in private practice in Imperial Valley until joining Behavioral Health in 2001 as a manager for Adult Drug and Alcohol Services. In 2005, Grass became manager of Crisis Services, a position he held until 2011 when he became manager overseeing children’s clinics in El Centro, Brawley and the San Pasqual school district in Winterhaven. In 2013, Grass was named manager of the El Centro Adult Services clinics for Anxiety and Depression and severe mental illnesses.
“This is an opportunity where all the things I have learned as a manager I can put together on a macro level. The management team we have is very innovative and client-centered and focused on getting people well,” Grass said.