Title: President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
Company: 26Health Inc.
Location: Orlando, Florida, United States
Dr. David Baker-Hargrove, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-founder of 26Health Inc., has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Health Care Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in mental health services.
An expert in mental health treatment and crisis response, Dr. Baker-Hargrove has been a dedicated counselor for more than 20 years. Having struggled with a difficult childhood as part of the LGBTQ+ community, ve faced many challenges with ver relationship with verself and others, as well as ver approach to emotional regulation. Ve did not have access to counseling at the time, and later decided to dedicate ver life to providing that essential service to people who may be in similar situations.
Prior to starting ver private career, Dr. Baker-Hargrove served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 1995. Following ver military service, ve earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1994 and a Master of Science in counseling and psychology from Troy State University in 1996. Well qualified in ver field, ve is a licensed psychotherapist with diplomate status through the American Psychotherapy Association. Ve has also been certified as a clinical forensic counselor, as a disaster response mental health worker and as a continuing education provider via the Florida State Medical Board of Quality Assurance. Additionally, Dr. Baker-Hargrove is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Pulse Memorial Fund Task Force, and is a founding member of the One Orlando Alliance, among several other civil and professional organizations.
Following ver academic accomplishments, Dr. Baker-Hargrove started ver career as the vice president of development and grants management with the Mental Health Association of Central Florida in 1999. During ver tenure there, ve helped expand the organization from an annual budget of $220,000 to $1.6 million in four years. During this time, ve attained a Doctor of Philosophy in counseling psychology from Barry University in 2002, having written ver dissertation on “A Forensic Study of the Medical Security Program From Client Perspectives: A Qualitative Analysis.”
After completing ver doctorate, Dr. Baker-Hargrove took a position as a psychotherapist and mental health team supervisor for the Hug-Me Clinic at Orlando Health between 2004 and 2008. Hug-Me is an outpatient clinic in a full-service hospital for adults and children who were affected with HIV or AIDS. Likewise, ve had been the owner and psychotherapist for BHC Assessment and Consulting since 1996 and served as a grant review committee member and review committee chair for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, a role in which ve continues to excel into the present.
Since 2015, Dr. Baker-Hargrove has functioned as the president and co-chief executive officer for 26Health Inc. In ver leadership role, ve focuses on developing the culture of the organization, bringing ver unique understanding of compassion fatigue to help create a healthy workforce to provide care for their patients. As part of this work, ve is a part of the organization’s book club and culture club and organizes their “Thought of the Day” committee.
Throughout ver career, Dr. Baker-Hargrove has been an integral part of many projects to bring mental health services to those most in need. Early on in ver career, ve provided mental health support to the New York City fire and police departments at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Ve later developed the Counseling Voucher Program, which linked persons who suffered financial hardship following the September 11th terrorist attacks to mental health providers in the Central Florida community. Ve served on the board of the Pride chamber of commerce from 1999 to 2010 and was the board president for the organization from 2008-2010, leading volunteers to run membership programs, conduct fundraising, and work on business development projects with networking and outreach programs. Additionally, ve worked as a program manager and principal evaluator for the Medical Security Program, which provides training for law enforcement officers who encounter a mentally ill person in crisis.
Outside of ver primary career endeavors, Dr. Baker-Hargrove contributed to Come Out With Pride Inc., central Florida’s LGBTQ+ pride event as their board president. In this capacity, ve developed the program into a cultural event that now draws crowds of over 175,000 people and brings in around $1 million in revenue for the local economy. Ve also served as the manager and principal evaluator for the PRIDE Program, which provides life-skills training for teens who are first-time probationers.
In 2016, ve led a community-wide crisis response after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Due to ver experience and training from ver September 9/11 work, ve organized over 650 volunteer counselors to provide over 1,000 mental health encounters over the three weeks between June 12th and the July 4th weekend of 2016. For the rest of the summer, ve organized an emergency drop-in counseling center that operated free of charge. Continuously until present time, 26Health has offered comprehensive health services to those affected by the Pulse shooting and has operated in the community as the primary service center in response to the tragedy. Dr. Baker-Hargrove has conducted over 120 local, state, national and international media interviews about the long-term effects of trauma and trauma in the LGBTQ+ community, especially as it related to the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Dr. Baker-Hargrove identifies as gay and nonbinary, and uses ve/ver/vers pronouns. Ve is uniquely sensitive to helping clients who are transgender or gender non-conforming, Dr. Baker-Hargrove has worked with over 2,000 transgender and nonbinary individuals during ver career and has trained numerous health professionals in providing culturally aware healthcare to this community. Ve has given professional presentations on this topic at local, state, national and international conferences, and is very honored to have presented to both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
Committed to serving ver community to the best of ver ability, Dr. Baker-Hargrove works to collaborate effectively with other professionals. Ve operates with honesty, even in areas where there is a noticeable loss of business integrity. Ve strives to do the right thing for ver patients and colleagues while developing ver skills as much as possible.
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