APM sent a letter to the Chair and to the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions supporting the nomination of Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Department of Health and Human Services. This is a new position created in the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill passed in 2016.
This new position would put her in charge of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency she has worked at from 2013-15 as Chief Medical Officer. In addition to overseeing SAMHSA, she would coordinate the mental health and substance use programs at other federal agencies.
Dr. McCance-Katz served as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry from 1991 to 1998. She is the Chief Medical Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, and Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
“Dr. McCance‐Katz has always had an interest in the underserved and in medical psychiatry outreach,” said Dr. Boland. “Her experience working at several prominent universities, as well as her previous work with SAMHSA, gives her the ability to bridge academia and government policy.”
More importantly, noted Dr. Boland, “is that she understands the concept of integrative care, which we believe is the future of psychiatry. Having known Dr. McCance‐Katz as a colleague, I know that she has the personal qualities, collaborative spirit, and passion for her field that will make her successful in this role.”