EASTON — Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc.’s board of directors recently recognized LaMonte Cooke of Chestertown for his dedication and service as a retiring director. Cooke joined the board in 1999, serving two terms.

Cooke is the Queen Anne’s County Department of Corrections Director — a position he has held since 1987, making him Maryland’s longest-serving Warden. He has more than 40 years of criminal justice and government service experience, including serving as Maryland Police & Correctional Training Commission Vice-Chairman and as the first African American deputy in his former role as Kent County Sheriff Office’s Chief Deputy.

Cooke’s dedication to his profession and community includes serving and leading on numerous boards, such as Peoples Bank of Kent County; Maryland Capital Enterprise, Inc.; Kent Youth, Inc.; African American Pride Magazine; Kent County Board of Education; Mid-Shore Council of Family Violence; and the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association. He is a member of the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council and a Past Commissioner of the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy.

Cooke’s service includes working on the committees of the Maryland Association of Counties Conference Planning; Maryland Sheriffs and Chiefs Legislation; Chestertown Tea Party Festival; and the Queen Anne’s County Drug & Alcohol Council. He is a member of the Thomas H. Kiah Masonic Lodge of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties and the Emmanuel U.M. Church of Chestertown.

“MSBH is a group of professionals with the goal of providing urgently needed programs which benefit the community as a whole,” said Cooke. “In my role as a public safety official I have seen first-hand the need for services, and feel that we have been able to contribute to helping others in need within the Mid Shore area.”

We are all grateful for LaMonte’s long service on the Board,” said MSBH President Dr. Ben Kohl. “Over the past eight years we have relied on his insight and knowledge of the needs of Mid Shore community members. I am particularly grateful for his leadership on the Program Services Committee. It has been assuring to have LaMonte’s dependable perspective in the review of RFPs and Caliber Award nominations. He will be greatly missed.”

“LaMonte has greatly helped Mid Shore Behavioral Health understand the challenges and perspective of law enforcement agencies when working with people facing mental health issues,” said MSBH Executive Director Katie Dilley, LCSW-C. “We’re grateful for his service in supporting an accessible, cost-effective, and community-focused system to serve the greater community as a whole.”

MSBH’s board of directors includes diverse and engaged individuals representing multicultural audiences, financial businesses, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, health care, housing development, and homeless services. Members participate in steering the nonprofit in accordance to its mission and vision, and actively participate on board committees.

Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) regional Core Service Agency serving Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties. MSBH is one of Maryland’s largest CSAs, with primary responsibilities including community planning, management, and monitoring of publicly funded medically necessary mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, and the aging population. MSBH also serves as the lead agency for the Mid Shore Roundtable on Homelessness, which coordinates homeless services funding in the region, with more at midshorebehavioral health.org.

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