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For Immediate Release
August 5, 2003

New NAMI Directors Accept Leadership Opportunity

Arlington, VA -- Anand Pandya, M.D., New York City, New York; Fred Frese, Ph.D., Hudson, Ohio; and Xavier Amador, Ph.D., Peconic, New York were recently elected to the Board of Directors for NAMI, The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness for the 15 million Americans and their families living with mental illness. Betsy Smith, Sharon, Connecticut and Gloria M. Walker, Cincinnati, Ohio were re-elected to continue serving with 11 other NAMI Directors.

Officers are President Margaret Stout, Johnston, Iowa; First Vice President Edward F. Foulks, M.D., Ph.D., New Orleans, Louisiana; Second Vice President Betsy Smith, Treasurer Jim Dailey, Louisville, Kentucky and Secretary Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., Beaver, Pennsylvania.

"NAMI's Campaign for the Mind of America," said Ms. Stout, "will position NAMI to be known as a place where people with critical mental health needs can turn for help and support. Our goal is to have NAMI become a household word for those who have a mental illness and their families."

Considering the work in which she will lead the Board, Ms. Stout said, "I'd like to bring greater cohesiveness to NAMI: bring diverse populations together, assist struggling affiliates and states, and continue progress in coalition building." Stout believes that it is important to build upon the leadership of Jim McNulty, outgoing president.

All NAMI Directors have the expertise of living with mental illness either through firsthand experience or as a family member. Having been on the "firing line," Ms. Stout's background includes, over 30 years of work in outreach to people coping with severely symptomatic illnesses, particularly those experiencing, housing needs and homelessness.

"With such a well-qualified Board supporting our staff and Executive Director Dr. Rick Birkel," said Ms. Stout, "I believe we will see NAMI's impact and importance grow as we expand our advocacy and educational efforts and reach out more and more to diverse populations. It is our intention to play a leading role in helping our nation develop a more effective public mental health system for all people."

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As The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness, NAMI leads a national grassroots effort to transform America's mental health care system, combat stigma, support research, and attain adequate health insurance, housing, rehabilitation, jobs and family support for millions of Americans living with mental illnesses. NAMI's one thousand affiliates are dedicated to public education, advocacy and support and receive generous donations from tens of thousands of individuals as well as grants from government, foundations and corporations. NAMI's greatest asset, however, is its volunteers—who donate an estimated $135 million worth of their time each year.

 


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