APA Applauds Confirmation of Dr. McCance-Katz for HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) congratulates Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., on her confirmation as the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the Department of Health and Human Services. The APA strongly supported her nomination.

“Dr. McCance-Katz is an accomplished physician and the ideal person to guide our nation’s treatment of mental health and substance use disorders,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We are delighted that the Senate confirmed her today as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. We look forward to working with her to provide quality mental health care to everyone who needs it.”

McCance-Katz, an APA member psychiatrist, is currently the chief medical officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals. She is also a professor of psychiatry and human behavior and professor of behavioral and social sciences at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

The assistant secretary post was created in the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan bill that passed last year. The assistant secretary is charged with overseeing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Services Administration (SAMHSA) and coordinating mental health and substance use programs at other federal agencies. McCance-Katz previously served in SAMHSA as the first chief medical officer of the agency.

The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

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