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Joshua A. Smith - CEO

Mr. Smith has over 14 years of for-profit behavioral healthcare management experience. Before joining Meridian, Mr. Smith worked for one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in the country, overseeing individual and multi-site operations in both inpatient acute psychiatric and child & adolescent residential care.

In his current role, Josh oversees facility start-up and acquisition functions for Meridian Behavioral Health Systems and all of its subsidiaries. Throughout his years of experience, Josh has effectively developed management systems, he is also keenly aware of the ever-changing dynamics of the behavioral health industry, and works diligently to ensure the stability of the operations throughout the changes and challenges that continue to exist in this dynamic industry. Mr. Smith remains steadfast and committed to the core Values and Mission of MBHS and providing superior clinical services to those in need.

While Josh's current day to day focus has been on acquisitions, regulatory compliance, operations, and human resource systems. His philosophy for success in the behavioral health industry is based upon a belief that a holistic, strengths-based treatment modality in a home-like environment is key to helping patients and residents acquire the tools they need to have a happy and healthy lifestyle outside of inpatient and residential treatment.

Leanne Sargent-Suarez - Director of Education

Leanne Sargent-Suarez is the Director of Education for Riverbend Youth Center. Prior to joining Riverbend, Leanne helped in creating one of the Midwest areas first Autism Centers for a non-for profit in Indiana.

She has spent over a decade advocating for, teaching and counseling children, teens and families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other Developmental Disabilities. Having a child on the spectrum herself has enabled her to encourage and assist other families when deciding best courses of action as it pertains to their children’s therapeutic and educational needs.

In addition, Leanne has an extensive background in business and is bi-lingual in both Spanish and English. She holds a BA in Spanish from Indiana University South Bend as well as a specialized certificate in International Studies. This enables her to assist therapists and translate for Spanish speaking families of children with developmental disabilities. Leanne’s unique background and strong emphasis on family involvement for children with Autism helps to create a warm, welcoming and supportive atmosphere to our patients, students, clients and their families.