Skyland Trail Announces New Chief Medical Officer

Ben Hunter MD Chief Medical Officer
Ben Hunter, MD, FAPA
Chief Medical Officer

ATLANTA – Skyland Trail, a nonprofit mental health treatment organization, announced the selection of Ben Hunter, MD, FAPA, as Charles B. West Chief Medical Officer in January 2024. In this position, Dr. Hunter provides leadership and oversight for all clinical services, research, and outcomes analysis and reporting. Dr. Hunter, who has been with the organization since 2017, was selected from a group of highly qualified candidates by a search committee of senior leaders, staff directors, and board members.

“Dr. Hunter demonstrates a deep commitment to both our patients and our staff,” says Beth Finnerty, Skyland Trail president and CEO. “I look forward to working with Dr. Hunter to meet the changing needs of our patients, families, and staff through evidence-based psychiatric treatment, integrated medical care, research, and education.”

Dr. Hunter joined Skyland Trail in 2017 as medical director of outpatient services and served in the role of medical director of professional services from 2020 to 2023. Dr. Hunter completed his medical training at Emory University School of Medicine followed by psychiatric residency at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as chief resident during his final year. His career at Penn was marked by several distinctions including the University of Pennsylvania’s Laughlin Foundation Award for outstanding professional achievement as well as Penn’s Kenneth D. Cohen Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award for excellence in psychotherapy. Dr. Hunter also completed fellowships in psychoanalysis through the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia and in organizational psychiatry with the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Prior to medical training, he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology summa cum laude from Wake Forest University.

Dr. Hunter is an elected Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, treasurer and 2024 president-elect of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, and a member of numerous state- and national-level committees aimed at improving access to psychiatric care. Notably, he has served on the Insurance Committee of the Clinical TMS Society, the international standard-bearer for transcranial magnetic stimulation, since 2021.

Dr. Hunter speaks to professional, student, and community audiences on many mental health topics, including the unique mental health needs of executives, athletes, and other high-performing individuals; leading-edge therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation; suicide prevention; and protecting and promoting teen mental health. He has contributed to numerous publications including co-authoring the book, Psychiatry of Workplace Dysfunction: Tools for Mental Health Professionals, Managers, and Employees.

Skyland Trail began providing mental health services in Atlanta in 1989. Residential and day treatment programs treat adults ages 18 and older and adolescents ages 14 to 17 with psychiatric disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, and thought disorders.

As a nonprofit organization, Skyland Trail uses charitable donations from the community to provide financial aid to eligible patients and families. Financial aid awards help remove financial barriers to accessing and completing the nationally recognized treatment programs.