NAMI Hopeful for New SAMHSA Assistant Secretary Appointee

4/28/2017

On April 21st, the White House announced the nomination of Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D. as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health & Substance Use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This newly-created position was included in H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act (mental health reform) and will oversee the work of SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

Dr. McCance-Katz is a Board-certified physician in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. Her most recent position is Chief Medical Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals. Previously, Dr. McCance-Katz served as Chief Medical Officer for SAMHSA.

NAMI supports the nomination of Dr. McCance-Katz and is looking forward to working with her to improve access to care and ensure quality, effective services and supports for people with mental health and substance use conditions.  As a Presidential nominee, Dr. McCance-Katz’s nomination is subject to review and approval by the U.S. Senate.

NAMI is hopeful that under Dr. McCance-Katz, priority will be placed on the following three goals:

  1. Improving early identification and intervention in the treatment of psychosis and other mental health conditions.

  2. Integrating mental health and substance use disorder care in overall health care.

  3. Reducing tragic consequences resulting from inadequate mental health and substance use disorder services, including suicides, homelessness and incarceration.

We will update you when final approval of the nomination occurs.