Dr. Chris Carson

is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Connections and has extensive leadership experience in a wide variety of managed behavioral health systems nationwide and a strong background in crisis services. A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Carson received his MD from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed residency in psychiatry at Timberlawn Hospital in Dallas. He also received an MBA from the University of Arizona.

Throughout his career, Dr. Carson has led the development of psychiatric emergency and crisis services in a variety of settings, beginning in 1992 with his role as medical director of the psychiatric emergency department at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he led the creation of the first crisis unit to serve the needs of the public behavioral health system in Tarrant County. He then went on to plan and develop a crisis center at Green Oaks Hospital in Dallas and served as its medical director until 2005. This program became the central point of access for law enforcement in the public behavioral health system in Dallas County and it was recognized by Mental Health America with their PRISM award for its “outstanding contributions to community mental health.” During 2013-2014, Dr. Carson was the Executive Director of Psychiatric Services at Parkland Hospital, the public safety net health system for Dallas County, which included a Psychiatric Emergency Department located within one of the largest Level One Trauma Centers in the nation. During his tenure there, he remedied deficiencies in the service delivery system to bring Parkland Hospital back into compliance with Medicare standards. Given that crisis centers play such a central role in the community behavioral health system, Dr. Carson has gained extensive experience and skill in working with diverse groups of stakeholders – law enforcement, hospitals, universities, community providers, payers, legislators, members and their families – in order to develop effective crisis services that meet the needs of each community.

In addition to his impressive work in the development of crisis services, Dr. Carson is a national leader in managed behavioral health systems. In February 2014 he became the National Medical Director for Utilization Management at ValueOptions, where he was responsible for the oversight of the medical management of all at-risk accounts nationwide. After Beacon Health acquired ValueOptions, he became the Chief Medical Officer for the Western Region of Beacon Health Options, and he currently oversees a variety of behavioral health programs (Medicaid, commercial, state employer, etc.) in California, Texas, Kansas, Nevada, Colorado, Hawaii, and New York. From 2007-2008 he was the CEO of Magellan Health Services of Arizona when this organization was contracted to serve as the Maricopa County Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) and managed an annual budget of $600 million in order to provide services to over 70,000 adults and children. From 2004-2007 he was the Chief Medical Officer for ValueOptions of New Mexico and was responsible for the entire publicly funded behavioral health system in New Mexico.

Dr. Robert Williamson

is Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Connections. He graduated from residency in 2001. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and is board certified in Arizona and Texas. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.

He has extensive experience in the hospital settings, including Terrell State Hospital, Charter Grapevine Behavioral, Millwood Hospital and Green Oaks Hospital, BPC, St. Luke’s, and the CRC. He held the position of Medical Director at Green Oaks, UPC, CRC, Banner Psychiatric Center, and St. Luke’s. Dr. Williamson became the Medical Director and Chief Administrator of the Urgent Psychiatric Center (UPC) in Phoenix, Arizona in 2007 after being recruited by the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) in Maricopa County. After two years of demonstrated successful operations, Drs. Williamson and Carson assumed ownership of the UPC and formed ConnectionsAZ in 2009. Also in 2009, Connections developed and managed the court ordered treatment (COT) unit at St. Luke’s Behavioral, managing 36 beds and all associated providers. In 2010, Connections assisted Banner Health in developing and managing a crisis program and Dr. Williamson served as the first Medical Director of the Banner Psychiatric Center.

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If this is an emergency, please contact

The Urgent Psychiatric Care Center (UPC)
1201 S 7th Ave; Suite #150
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(Phoenix Memorial Healthcare Plaza – 7th Ave and Buckeye)
(602) 416-7600

 

The Crisis Response Center (CRC)
2802 E. District Street
Tucson, AZ 85714
(520) 301-2284