Emily Ackers and Gaan Akers of Hillside Atlanta

Emily Acker and Gaan Akers of Hillside

The Weekly Check-Up welcomes Emily Acker and Gaan Akers of Hillside in Atlanta, Georgia. Hillside provides specialized cutting-edge behavioral treatment and education to children and their families.

Hillside’s President and CEO, Emily Acker, will be discussing Hillside 101, Mental Health Awareness Month, Savannah/Macon in-person services, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and why the need for mental health services remains so important in these times. She will also cover Hillside history, our services, and any admin-related topics.

Hillside’s licensed clinician and Clinical Education/Referral Relations Manager, Gaan Akers, will address DBT, why we need mental health services and more clinical information. She will also discuss Hillside’s efforts to expand in-home services within the Savannah/Macon markets.

Emily Acker, President and CEO of Hillside

Areas of Experience: Healthcare Administration, Mental Health/Healthcare, Advocacy, Education/Academic, Non-Profit, Foster Care, Community Based Health Services, Strategic Planning, Collaborative Networks, Board Leadership, Acquisition Management, Risk Management, JC Accreditation

Emily R. Acker has served children and adolescents for over thirty years in a variety of non-profit organizations. She began her current role as President and CEO of Hillside in 2014 and has guided Hillside’s expansion of its continuum of services to include psychiatric residential treatment, day treatment, therapeutic foster care, outpatient treatment, and intensive in-home treatment services. Serving over 700 children and families this year, Hillside’s clinical treatment is based in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Hillside was the first residential treatment program to become a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program™ in the nation.

Prior to Hillside, Acker’s career included leadership roles at Inner Harbour and Youth Villages. She also served as Executive Director of MAAC from 2001 to 2004. She currently serves as Chair of the Georgia Alliance of Therapeutic Services and serves on the board of directors for another child welfare provider association, Together Georgia. Acker is on the board of directors for Starting Over, a non-profit faith-based organization providing court-ordered supervised visitation for children at no cost. She is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2019 and attended Harvard Business School Executive Education Series: Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Leadership.

Acker is a native of Texas and completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of the South-Sewanee. She earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Central Michigan University. She and her husband are the parents of three young adults and currently reside in Douglasville.

Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC, Clinical Education and Referral Relations Manager of Hillside

Gaan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Gaan has been working with children, adolescents, and families for over 10 years in various settings. Most of her professional career has been in psychiatric care settings where her focus was providing therapeutic treatment to children, adolescents, and families. She has facilitated countless parent groups, individual therapy, and family sessions in both outpatient clinic and hospital settings.

She is the Clinical Education and Referral Relations Manager for Hillside, a nationally recognized mental health hospital for children and adolescents. In her current role, she relies on her expertise and clinical experience to perform clinical case consultations with referring clinicians. She also facilitates continuing educations workshops and skills training for mental health professionals and the community.