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David Winters to Retire as Chief Administrative Officer

David Winters, a 38-year healthcare veteran and local leader, has announced his retirement as Chief Administrative Officer of SalusCare, Inc., the region’s largest provider of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.

Winters, 60, said his retirement will become effective in early 2015, when he plans to take a year off from any professional or volunteer commitments to spend more time with his wife Vicki and travel to see their two grown children and three grandchildren who live in Georgia and Vermont.

David Winters
David Winters

Winters was the catalyst for merging Lee Mental Health and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS) 18 months ago to become SalusCare, Inc. Prior to the merger, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lee Mental Health for seven years, which was preceded by six years as Chief Financial Officer of Lee Mental Health.

“I believe my greatest contribution has been bringing leadership and integrity to the organization by focusing on what the community needs were and using the limited resources we have had to the best of our ability,” he said.

Florida ranks 48th in the nation in spending for mental health needs, yet SalusCare provides treatment for 17,000 adults and children each year with services ranging from outpatient to inpatient, crisis intervention, prevention and community action teams.

“David Winters is a quiet and strong leader within the behavioral healthcare community,” said SalusCare CEO Kevin B. Lewis. ”His extensive background in healthcare management and administration has served Lee Mental Health and now SalusCare well by bringing innovation along with a focus and discipline to our work serving community needs.”

For example, Winters was instrumental in the creation of the Triage Center, which was formed in 2007 to assess individuals referred for mental health and substance abuse services by area law enforcement agencies as an alternative to jail and hospital emergency rooms.  The Triage Center is a partnership of SalusCare, Lee County Human Services, Lee Memorial Health System, the Salvation Army and local law enforcement.  The Triage Center is housed on the Ortiz Avenue campus of SalusCare.

Lewis said there are no plans to replace Winters at SalusCare.

Prior to moving to Fort Myers in 2000, Winters was the Chief Financial Officer of TCN Behavioral Health Services in Xenia, Ohio.  He also served in executive positons with other healthcare companies in Ohio, including Humana/ChoiceCare in Cincinnati, Med-Health Systems, Inc. in Xenia, and Grandview Hospital and Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Winters is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  He also is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), inactive, in Ohio.

In addition to his professional duties, he is a supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties.