ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) strongly supports the nomination of Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., to be the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the Department of Health and Human Services. The APA urges the Senate to swiftly confirm her nomination.
The Trump Administration announced late Friday that it will nominate McCance-Katz, an APA member psychiatrist, to the position. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., 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.
“Dr. McCance-Katz has a wealth of experience in academic and public sector settings in addressing mental health and substance use disorders,” said APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D. “She is an accomplished physician, and the APA strongly supports her nomination.”
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 once served in SAMHSA as the first chief medical officer of the agency; her experience that will pay off in her new role.
“We urge the Senate to confirm Dr. McCance-Katz as soon as possible,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We look forward to working with her to improve the quality of care of mental health and substance use disorders.”
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.