chris hunter

Christopher Hunter

Franklin-based behavioral health company Acadia Healthcare named Christopher Hunter as its new CEO on Friday. 

Hunter has more than 20 years of health care experience, and most recently served as president of Humana’s group, military and specialty segment. He has also worked for companies such as TriZetto and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. He will also serve on Acadia’s board of directors. 

This announcement comes months after former CEO Debbie Osteen was set to retire. She ended up extending her employment until March 31. The press release notes Osteen has entered a consulting agreement to assist with the transition.

“This is an incredible honor, and I am excited to join such a strong, respected organization that is addressing a critical societal need at a pivotal time for our country,” Hunter said. “With a growing patient base and an industry-leading executive team already in place, I’m looking forward to building on the successful trajectory set by Debbie and the leadership team. I am proud to work with Acadia’s committed facility leaders and 22,500 dedicated employees across the country with a shared mission to provide high-quality behavioral healthcare services to existing and new communities.”

In the past year, the company acquired a Missouri behavioral health provider, bought three vacant facilities in Chicago, and established joint ventures with facilities in Florida, Colorado and Minnesota

“We greatly appreciate Debbie’s important contributions to Acadia’s growth and success, and we are confident this will be a smooth transition of leadership," said Acadia board chair Reeve Waud. "We are pleased to have Debbie remain on the company’s board as we continue to benefit from her expertise and valuable insight."