Melody Madaris appointed to lead Communicare

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, March 4, 2023

Communicare announced Friday that Melody Madaris, Ph.D., has been appointed as the new executive director, effective March 1.

The selection comes on the heels of the recent move of Sandy Rogers, Ph.D., who directed the company for 12 years, to a more supportive role within the agency.

“I have always been told you will know when it is time to change your path or direction,” said Rogers. “This decision was not made quickly or easily, but after talking with Dr. Madaris, it became clear that her
unparalleled knowledge, energy and passion would allow Communicare to flourish in the next phase of expansion and development.”

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Madaris brings 17 years of experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Her impressive educational background includes a bachelor’s in Human Development, a master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling, and more recently, a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Amridge University.

She is a licensed clinical professional counselor with training in both EMDR and ART therapies, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and a Psychological Autopsy Investigator.

She serves as a board member for numerous mental health and substance use-related organizations,
including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Alliance on Mental Illness –
Mississippi Chapter, and the Lafayette County Fire Department representing Station 3.

Madaris also serves on the Mississippi Autism Advisory Council, as well as the Mississippi Intervention Court Advisory Council.

“She is the embodiment of servant leadership, always willing to jump in and help, both behind the scenes
and out in the community,” said Rachel Alcorn, clinical director of Communicare.

During her tenure at Communicare, Dr. Madaris has championed initiatives to prevent opioid overdoses
through training and distribution of Naloxone (NARCAN), established Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement in North Mississippi, and expanded services and funding opportunities for the agency.

To date, about 1,919 people in the local area have been trained in opioid prevention and reversal, 4,622
units of NARCAN have been distributed, 185 lives have been saved through the use of NARCAN, and 64
local officers have been trained in CIT, a program designed to reduce safety risks between law enforcement and people with mental illness.

“I am excited to embark on this new journey,” said Dr. Madaris. “Dr. Rogers laid the foundation for
growth, and with the help of our amazing staff at Communicare, I feel confident that we will continue
reaching new heights.”

Communicare has served as Northern Central Mississippi’s community mental health center since 1969,
providing quality, individualized care to Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Tate and Yalobusha

The agency’s mission is to deliver caring, professional assistance to people of all ages seeking mental
health treatment, substance abuse treatment, school-based services, IDD services and 24 hour crisis