Press Release: Al Barton selected as New Executive Director for Mid-Columbia Center for Living

The Tri-County Mental Health Board proudly welcomes Al Barton as its new Executive Director. Mr. Barton has deep expertise with the services offered at Mid-Columbia Center for Living (MCCFL), having previously served as the Deputy Director at MCCFL. Mr. Barton’s extensive experience, combined with a deep passion for improving mental health across our community, will help to further advance the mission of the organization.

Mr. Barton received a Master of Science with a focus on Agency Counseling from The University of Arkansas and is an Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor and Counselor Supervisor as well as a certified Mental Health Examiner, Investigator and Protective Service Investigator. He began his career at MCCFL in 2008 as a Clinical Supervisor before moving to a Clinical Services Manager with MCCFL in 2009. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position, Mr. Barton served as the agency’s Deputy Director for five years and has been acting as the Interim Executive Director since July 2021.

Mr. Barton has spent most of his adult life providing mental health services to his community. Before joining MCCFL, Mr. Barton held the Executive Director position and Director of Needs Assessment and Outpatient Services at Piney Ridge Center, a psychiatric residential health facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has worked in correctional, developmental disabilities and residential settings.

Mr. Barton lives in the Hood River with his wife as an “empty nester” with 3 grown children living in Oregon. He enjoys all the outdoor activities available in the Gorge including Nordic, backcountry and alpine skiing in winter, and hiking, camping and biking in all seasons. Weekends usually find him volunteering as a Mt. Hood Ski Patroller in winter and Bike Patroller in summer.
He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and continued commitment to MCCFL as he embarks on this new journey leading the agency.

“MCCFL has been through so many challenges over the last two years – a pandemic, serious financial risks, leadership departures and huge staffing needs. Behavioral health is a critical need in our community and this agency provides so many unique safety net services. I’m honored the MCCFL Board and our staff encouraged me to support them as a leader. We have stabilized with crucial support from community partners and Wasco County, the Oregon Health Authority and our two Coordinated Care Organizations (PacificSource and Eastern OR). With the help of the amazing professionals who remain we are re-building a great place to work that helps keep our community well. Here we go! ”