Novelli named new CEO of Okanogan Behavioral HealthCare

Jim Novelli, new Chief Executive Officer of Okanogan Behavioral HealthCare


OKANOGAN – Jim Novelli has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Okanogan Behavioral HealthCare. He is a native of New York City. He received his BA from the State University New York College at Fredonia and master’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 

Novelli has been involved in the behavioral health field at both the state and community level. He directed a crisis service program for a number of years and taught at the local community college. He then worked for the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities as assistant center director of the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. His final position with the state of Illinois was with the Division of Mental Health where he served as the executive director of Region Five. In this position, his office was responsible for oversight of the system of care for the southern portion of Illinois, which encompasses 36 counties and 26 community mental health agencies. Most recently he was the CEO for Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center, in Miles City, Montana. 

Novelli believes hope and recovery  are possible when individuals have access to needed services. That includes public outreach to help those in need to become aware of the available services that would help them. It is important to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. People talk about their child’s broken leg, Novelli says, but not their child’s mental health. He wants to “help people get through that process” and accept mental health care as health care. He believes the integration of physical health and mental health is a priority

Jim and his wife, Joette, have three children, one boy and two girls. Since the children are 25, 22 and 20, they will not be moving with their parents to become Okanogan County residents. Novelli, whose hobbies include martial arts, cooking and animal rescue, especially dogs, looks forward to becoming part of the Okanogan County community. 


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