Deschutes County has hired Jane Smilie as Health Services Director. Jane begins working at the county on May 7. She fills the position held by Scott Johnson, who is retiring at the end of May. Scott’s retirement will bring to a close a career of over 35 years of public service, including 20 with Deschutes County.

The national recruitment resulted in almost 50 applications. The selection process included participation and input from community stakeholders and community partners.

Jane comes to Central Oregon from Helena, Montana. She has served as the Administrator for the Public Health and Safety Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for the past nine years. Jane has 25 years of experience in a wide range of health positions and program areas within the State of Montana. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Health Services Administration from the University of Washington. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University.

“Over the last 20 years, Deschutes County has made an extraordinary commitment to community health, to children, and to providing a safety net for people challenged by mental illness. Jane is highly regarded by those she’s worked with in Montana.  She’ll be welcomed here by a very passionate, talented and hard-working staff. Both the staff and community partners are very excited to work with her,” said Health Services Director Scott Johnson. 

“Deschutes County has been blessed to be able to benefit from the vast experience and passion that Scott Johnson has brought to the role of Health Services Director. He has led the department and the County through some difficult transitions and uncertain times related to changing public health and behavioral health issues and priorities. With Jane’s valuable experience of helping the State of Montana navigate through its public health evolution, we’ll be positioned to carry on the foundational work that Scott has established,” said Deschutes County Administrator Tom Anderson.

Health Services Director Scott Johnson has worked for Deschutes County since 1994 as the Director of the Commission on Children & Families. He was promoted to Behavioral Health Director in 2004, and later became the director of Health Services (Public and Behavioral Health) in 2009 where he continues to work until the end of next month.

As a sample of accomplishments during his career with the County, Scott advocated for and helped develop new programs for children and families in a growing community, increased behavioral health services and local residential options for people with mental illness, supported significant growth of school based health centers and led the Department through the national public health accreditation process.

He’s been a key partner with community justice system and in regional efforts to better coordinate physical, mental and oral health care for residents. Under his guidance, the County continues to support the integration of services, the new regional early learning hub to improve health and learning for at-risk children and greater access to County services in La Pine, Redmond and Sisters. With many others, Scott helped to establish the County ranking as the 5th best of 33 Oregon counties in health factors, 7th best in health outcomes and 2nd best in healthy behaviors.