Community Mental Health Board Names Cheryl Potts as New Executive Director





(OAK PARK, IL, August 23, 2021) The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township(CMHB) has named Cheryl Potts as the new Executive Director for the mental health board. Potts is slated to take over for Lisa DeVivo, who has held the position for more than 13 years and is retiring this October.


Potts, long-time Oak Park resident, comes to the CMHB from The Kennedy Forum Illinois. The Kennedy Forum works to promote access to care for people living with mental health and substance use disorder and eliminate discrimination.


“I am so grateful to serve my community as the executive director of the Community Mental Health Board,” said Potts. “As a person living with a mental health disorder, I believe that addressing issues related to stigma, discrimination, and access to care are paramount. The Oak Park community has always been compassionate and focused in taking care of others. I am fortunate to be taking over the helm from a visionary leader and continuing the investment in mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. In collaboration with our talented Board and Staff, I am greatly looking forward to being a steward of Oak Park’s investment in these services.”

She has worked in the field of human services for over 20 years, beginning in HIV care and housing for the vulnerable. Potts has dedicated her professional life, and much of her personal life, to being a champion for those in living with substance use disorders, those living with mental health conditions, the homeless, and people living with HIV. Before The Kennedy Forum, Cheryl was the Director of Care at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, served as the executive director of AMITA Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance, and participated in numerous local and national committees aimed at eliminating social disparities of health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DePaul University and a Masters’ of Business Administration from North Park University.

“Cheryl has both the experience and expertise to lead this board in meeting the challenges faced by Oak Park residents who may be struggling with mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or for a family member with a developmental disability and in need of assistance in finding appropriate services,” said Staples. “We are pleased she has chosen to work with us, and we look forward to her stewardship of the important tasks ahead of us.”

The CMHB was instrumental in developing the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition, and either chairs or is a member of the Addiction Recovery Team, Positive Youth Development, the Opioid Task Force, CommunityWorks/Success of All Youth, the West Cook County Funders Collaboration, and the Behavioral Health and Intellectual- Developmental Disabilities Consortiums. CMHB also partnered with Healthy Communities Foundation, Community Memorial Foundation, and River Forest Township to develop and oversee HealthConnectionHub, a one stop shop website for all health, social, and supportive services.

Most recently, the agency has been key to bringing mental health services in the schools, as well as service and care navigators at both D97 and D200.

“Our board members are truly saddened by the decision of our current Executive Director, Lisa DeVivo, to retire after thirteen years of service,” says Nancy Staples, Board President. “We have been in awe of her energy, experience, knowledge and steadfast commitment to ensuring the provision of mental health and other social services to our community. Her leadership and collaborative efforts with various community stakeholders have resulted in new and improved models of service and expanded resources for those in need. We will miss her bright presence but wish her well in whatever direction her retirement takes her.”

The CMHB is comprised of nine residents appointed by the Township Supervisor with the approval of the Township Trustees. The CMHB of Oak Park Township provides leadership to develop a comprehensive array of community-based services, which are cost-effective, systematically evaluated, and responsive to evolving community needs.

To download the official press release, please click here.

About Community Mental Health Board:

The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township (CMHB) is a branch of Oak Park Township. The purpose of the Community Mental Health Board is to assist in planning, developing, coordinating, evaluating, and funding mental health services in Oak Park. This includes services for persons with mental disorders, alcohol or other drug dependence or developmental disorders. The Township’s Community Mental Health Fund provides over $1 million in financial support for programs and services to 12-20 agencies per year in Oak Park.


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