Leadership of the Murney Clinic to Change Hands

In a letter to the Forest community it was announced today (10/12/2011) that Dr. Jennifer Baker will take on the role of Director of the Robert J. Murney Clinic as Dr. Robert King moves to a new position in his professional career.

Below is the letter sent on behalf of Forest President, Dr. Mark Skrade.

Dear Forest community,

As always, when we say goodbye to one of our outstanding community members, we do so with mixed emotions. Such is the case with Dr. Robert King. Dr. King has contributed much to the local, state and national communities during his time with Forest and we are grateful for his outstanding service and leadership. Dr. King has accepted a position with the Mercy Health System in Springfield as a clinical psychologist and will leave his post as the Director of the Robert J. Murney Clinic.

Dr. King graduated from Forest with his Psy.D and completed his internship at RJMC. When Dr. Murney retired in 2004, Dr. King followed in his mentor’s steps and assumed the directorship of the clinic. During his tenure as director, he and Dr. AnneElise Parkhurst worked together to facilitate the process of APA accreditation for the internship positions at the clinic. Dr. King has overseen many improvements and changes at the clinic in the last seven years and we have benefitted from his leadership.

The list of Dr. King’s contributions and accomplishments is long. Robert has been a teacher, supervisor, mentor, author, consultant, practitioner, community partner and community advocate. Dr. King has served on the SW MO NAACP, NAMI SW MO and other professional and community boards. I am sure that his commitment to the greater good of Springfield will continue as he assumes his new post.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. King for all of his contributions and accomplishments while at Forest. We are confident that he will continue his excellent work and enrich the lives of many more in our community!


In addition, please join me in congratulating Dr. Jennifer Baker, Vice President of the Center for Innovation and Community Health. With the departure of Dr. King, Dr. Jennifer Baker will assume responsibility for oversight and administration of the Robert J. Murney Clinic. Prior to moving to Missouri in 1998, Dr. Baker successfully developed and supervised two different counseling centers in northern Illinois, where she hired and supervised additional staff.

Dr. Baker directed the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Forest from 2000-2009, while leading it to become the first fully accredited MFT program in Missouri. During this time, Dr. Baker also wrote and directed the Child Welfare Training Project grant, a $2.1 million project awarded to Forest Institute, from 2003 to 2008 and the Operation Us, a $5.2 million project awarded to Forest Institute from 2006-2011. More recently, Dr. Baker has assumed responsibility for the Continuation Education at Forest where she initiated the "Fridays @ Forest” format, the Mental Health and Corrections Conference, and Grant Development and Administration.

In her oversight of the Murney Clinic, Dr. Baker will bring skills of leadership, collaboration and innovation. She will work hand in hand with Dr. Porter to ensure a training environment that continues to provide exceptional service to the community while emphasizing evidence-based therapies and clinical research. Finally, she will look to ways to expand clinic services to more fully address the needs of the community.


Dr. Mark Skrade