Sue Ann Atkerson, LPC, Chief Operating Officer

sueannatkerson2-2After serving more than twenty years in the behavioral health community in Maricopa County, Sue Ann Atkerson joined RI International as Chief Operating Officer. As COO, she is responsible for outpatient programs across five states. Her primary duties include ensuring the clinical effectiveness of existing programs, spearheading new program development, and maintaining collaborative relationships with fourteen funders. Because RI International is known for its widespread use of peer supports, I’m focused on leveraging the value of lived experience to maximize positive client outcomes.

Previously, as Vice President of Outpatient Services at Southwest Behavioral Health, Sue Ann was responsible for overseeing seven full-service outpatient clinics serving both children and adults, and several community living locations for persons with serious mental illness. She spearheaded the implementation of Same Day Access to intake and Advanced Access to medication, two initiatives that reduced wait times, improved show rates, and reduced overall cost. She was instrumental in writing the proposal for, and implementing services in, the NARBHA geographic service area. Prior to Southwest, Sue Ann served as the Director of Outpatient Services at Terros, where she led the implementation of co-occurring disorder programming and oversaw three outpatient clinics. In addition, she served on the Arizona Integrated Treatment Consensus Panel, a group appointed to write the state’s clinical service guidelines for persons with co-occurring disorders. Sue Ann holds a Masters of Counseling degree from Arizona State University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Arizona. She serves on the Board of Directors for Partners in Recovery, and is in the process of obtaining her Master of Business Administration degree.

Why do you work for RI? “I’m excited to be serving in a leadership role with RI International because peer services are gaining increased recognition as being a critical component to achieving positive outcomes. RI International is at the forefront of this work and is in a unique position to make an impact in this growing field!” — Sue Ann Atkerson