David Evans

  • What does your organization do?

    Austin Travis County Integral Care provides community-based behavioral health and developmental disabilities services in Travis County. We serve individuals with serious mental illness, substance use disorders and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities through a wide range of services including a 24/7 crisis hotline, crisis mobile response, residential treatment, integrated behavioral health, chronic disease management and housing. We are an agency of some 750 employees serving individuals in 45 locations across Travis County.
  • How did you become interested in this work?

    At several points early in my life, I had experiences with the individuals we serve and the opportunity to understand the challenges they face. Out of high school, I volunteered at the state hospital in my Michigan hometown. The first day on the job in my first professional position, I was sent to interview individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities about moving from the grounds of the state facility to housing in the community. And when I graduated from college, I was in the Peace Corp working in Michigan in impoverished communities struggling with the downsizing of key economic industries. These experiences cemented my commitment.
  • What drives your passion?

    Social justice – many of the issues for people with mental illness or intellectual or developmental disabilities have equity and civil rights at their core.
  • Did you have a mentor or a role model?

    David Rosen, who served as an officer on several national committees, gave me the opportunity to attend national meetings and gain exposure to many different leaders in the field.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?

    My most significant challenge is keeping our mission at the forefront of the community agenda amidst many competing issues.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?

    You can't do your job sitting in your office - get out of the office, meet with constituents, meet with the public, meet with leaders
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?

    - Maintain humility and give credit where credit is due

    - Keep the big things big and the small things small - beware of the tyranny of the urgent

    - Maintain a vision of the next 3 to 5 years for your agency - read, listen and observe emerging practices to cause you to think about the future