NAMI Applauds New SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer: "A Community Psychiatrist"

Aug 11 2016

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NAMI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Giliberti offered the following statement on the appointment today of Anita Everett, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

"This is great news for everyone affected by mental illness."

"Dr. Everett will bring a wealth of leadership experience and clinical expertise to help SAMHSA meet challenges at every level." 

"She is a longtime NAMI friend and values the role of individuals and families in treatment and in policy. She is a grassroots psychiatrist who knows the mental health care system from the ground up. She understands the needs of individuals, families and communities and will be a wonderful addition to the SAMHSA team."

"NAMI warmly congratulates Dr. Everett. We look forward to working with her to move mental health care in America forward."

About NAMI:

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Text of SAMHSA Announcement

SAMHSA's Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto has announced the hiring of SAMHSA's new Chief Medical Officer, Anita Everett, M.D. Dr. Everett will bring a wealth of behavioral health expertise and experience from the psychiatric field to SAMHSA when she assumes this new role.

Dr. Everett will lead the newly created Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO). This office will have five dedicated staff, including an additional medical doctor, and will greatly expand SAMHSA's ability to provide effective, state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches to promote the nation's behavioral health services. Working with SAMHSA leadership and staff, the OCMO will provide valuable input into strategic initiatives, policy directions, and legislative issues to ensure that medically researched and clinically approved practices are incorporated in the development and implementation of SAMHSA programs and activities.

The OCMO will play a key role in representing SAMHSA's clinical perspectives, particularly when working with other HHS entities and federal agencies. The OCMO will work closely with SAMHSA's Regional Administrators to engage with state, local, and tribal organizations on clinical issues. The clinical experience that Dr. Everett and her team bring to SAMHSA will also provide additional capabilities to evaluate quality and medical systems issues, including the coordination and integration of behavioral health services with primary care and medical services and public health systems.

An expanded OCMO will provide SAMHSA's staff, advisory committee members, and stakeholders new opportunities for engagement on the wide range of behavioral health issues that SAMHSA addresses. This office will be an important facet of SAMHSA's public efforts and will organize, direct, present, and participate in public meetings and conferences involving SAMHSA's work and pressing public health issues.

In February 2016, Dr. Everett was chosen to serve as the next president-elect for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) where she has previously held numerous roles, including trustee-at-large on the APA Board of Trustees, chair of the APA Task Force on Health Care Reform 2015, chair of the Scientific Program Committee of the Institute on Psychiatric Services, Assembly Representative, and chair of the Council on Health Care Systems and Finance. She has also served as president of the Maryland Psychiatric Society and president of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists.

Dr. Everett is currently the Division Director of Johns Hopkins Community and General Psychiatry, Bayview Campus, in Baltimore, Maryland, and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Her current area of research is the health behavior of individuals with long-term mental illnesses.

From 1999 to 2003, she served as the Inspector General to the Office of the Governor in the Department of Mental Health in Virginia. During this time, she completed over 80 inspections of institutions operated and licensed to provide mental health services in Virginia. She has been engaged in a number of international projects that have included consultation with the Ministries of Health, Department of Mental Health, in Iraq and Afghanistan on the implementation of mental health services in these countries and has been published widely in academic journals. Dr. Everett previously worked at SAMHSA as Senior Medical Advisor and worked on a number of projects that centered on the promotion of access to quality services and appropriate medications for individuals with mental disabilities.

Dr. Everett is expected to begin her new duties on September 5, 2016.