Pioneer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Elizabeth McMasters, M.D., as the organization’s Medical Director. Dr. McMasters will lead the expansion of psychiatric services, professional leadership of the organization’s existing medical services and work toward building a community network of psychiatric services.
“As the new Pioneer Center Medical Director, I want to help in enhancing the availability of quality, comprehensive behavioral health treatment in our community. In the last couple of years, local treatment has become splintered amongst multiple agencies and providers who have had difficulty collaborating. With expanding psychiatric services and direction, our goal is for Pioneer Center to become the comprehensive care center with a wider offering of treatments and programs,” says Dr. McMasters.
Dr. McMasters earned a bachelor’s of science degree in medicine and a medical degree from Northwestern University. She completed her residency in psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was the Chief Resident.
“We are excited for Dr. McMasters to join our team,” says Dr. Patrick Maynard, President and CEO of Pioneer Center, “She is a dedicated psychiatrist with more than 19 years of experience in community behavioral healthcare. Through her experience and dedication to the community we will be able to grow our behavioral health care programming exponentially.”
This new position is made possible by the McHenry County Mental Health Board. This past April, they reinvested funds from its trimmed administrative budget into the community by opening a grant process designed to support new, innovative programs and services. Through this process, Pioneer Center received funding to add a medical director.
The addition of this position comes at a time when the need for human services continues to increase but state budget cuts, delayed state funding and rising costs make it difficult to meet community needs. Studies report that on average 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.
“I am looking forward to the challenges that come with working on an agency and system level in addition to the individual. I will always be an individual practitioner, but the longer I practice, the more I see a need to impact the larger system for the ongoing benefit of the community. Given the scarcity of psychiatrists I believe it is important to invest in working for a large organization like Pioneer Center where leading and supervising many other clinicians and treating a large volume of clients can have a greater impact. Since the last two years have kept me relatively isolated from other behavioral health providers, I am excited to start working with a strong team of behavioral health colleagues,” says Dr. McMasters.
As McHenry County continues to grow, this creates a consistent and rapidly expanding need for psychiatric services. Pioneer Center’s psychiatric capacity is expected to increase by 74% with the addition of Dr. McMasters.
To learn more, call Pioneer Center at 815.344.1230.