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Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS)


The Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS) advises the Associate Administrator for Women’s Services and the SAMHSA Administrator on appropriate activities to be undertaken by the SAMHSA Centers with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services.

About ACWS

Under the authority of Section 501 of the PHS Act, the ACWS is a legislatively mandated committee, whose charge is to:

  1. Advise the Associate Administrator for Women’s Services and the SAMHSA Administrator on appropriate activities to be undertaken by the SAMHSA Centers with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services, including services which require a multi disciplinary approach;
  2. Collect and review data;
  3. Report biannually to the Administrator regarding the extent to which women are represented among senior SAMHSA personnel;
  4. Make recommendations for improvement in the participation of women in the SAMHSA workforce; and
  5. Prepare for inclusion in the SAMHSA biannual report a description of activities of the ACWS, including findings made by the Committee regarding the extent of expenditures made for women’s substance abuse and mental health services by SAMHSA and the estimated level of funding needed for such services to meet the needs of women.

Committee Charter

The Committee is chaired by the Associate Administrator for Women’s Services.  Management and support services for ACWS are provided by the Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation (OPPI).

Committee’s Official Designation

Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS)


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women’s Services (ACWS) is required by 42 U.S.C. 290aa, section 501(f)(2)(C) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The ACWS is governed by the provision of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C., App.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

To advise the Associate Administrator for Women’s Services (AAWS) on appropriate activities to be undertaken by the agencies of the Administration with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services, including services which require a multidisciplinary approach. These may include discussion on the development of policies and programs regarding women’s issues; plans to standardize and enhance the collection of data on women’s health, and other emerging issues concerning women’s substance abuse and mental health services.

Description of Duties

The ACWS will collect and review data, including information provided by the Secretary, and report biannually to the Assistant Secretary regarding the extent to which women are represented among senior personnel, and make recommendations regarding improvement in the participation of women in the workforce of the SAMHSA; and prepare, for inclusion in the biennial report, a description of activities of the Committee, including findings regarding:

  1. the extent of expenditures made for women's substance abuse and mental health services by the agencies of SAMHSA; and

  2. the estimated level of funding needed for substance abuse and mental health services to meet the needs of women.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The ACWS shall advise and make recommendations to the AAWS, concerning activities carried out by the Agency with respect to women’s substance abuse and mental health services.


Management and support services shall be provided by the SAMHSA Office of Intergovernmental and Public Affairs (OIPA).

Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years

The estimated annual operating costs for the ACWS, to include travel, meetings, federal staff support, and contracting support, is approximately $202,068.00 and 0.75 fulltime equivalents.

Designated Federal Official

The SAMHSA Assistant Secretary shall designate an Agency staff member to serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) of the ACWS. The DFO will approve or call all ACWS meetings and subcommittee meetings, prepare and approve meeting agendas, attend all ACWS meetings and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the official to whom the committee reports.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

The ACWS shall meet no less than two times during each fiscal year. The location of the meetings of the committee shall be subject to the approval of the AAWS.

ACWS meetings shall be open to the public, except as determined otherwise by the HHS Secretary (or the designee), in accordance with the Government in Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Notice of all meetings shall be given to the public. In the event a portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a report will be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members and their business addresses, the ACWS’s functions, dates and places of meetings, and a summary of committee activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.




Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the charter for the ACWS will expire two years from the date the charter is filed.

Membership and Designation

The ACWS shall consist of not more than 10 members to be appointed by the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary, a majority of whom shall be women, who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. Members shall be from among physicians, practitioners, treatment providers, and other health professionals, whose clinical practice, specialization, or professional expertise includes a significant focus on women's substance use and mental health conditions. All members shall serve as Special Government Employees.

A quorum for the conduct of business by the full Committee will consist of a majority (one more than one half) of currently appointed voting members.

The term of office of a member of the ACWS shall be up to four years. If a vacancy occurs in the advisory committee among the members, the Assistant Secretary shall make the appointment to fill such vacancy within 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs. Initial appointments shall be made in such a manner as to ensure that the terms of the members do not all expire in the same year. A member who has been appointed for a term of four years may not be reappointed to an advisory committee before two years from the date of expiration of such term of office.


Subcommittees may be established with the approval of the Assistant Secretary or the AAWS. The advice/recommendations of a subcommittee must be deliberated by the parent committee. A subcommittee may not provide advice or work products directly to the agency. The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon the establishment of each subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


Meetings of the ACWS and its subcommittees will be conducted according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, other applicable laws and Departmental policies. The ACWS and subcommittee records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records will be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Filing Date

June 15, 2022


Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Committee Roster

Nima Sheth, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Administrator for Women’s Services (AAWS)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Valerie Kolick, M.A.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Kelly Andrzejczyk-Beatty, D.O., Psychiatrist, Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority, McAlester, OK
Dr. Kelly S. Andrzejczyk-Beatty is a board certified psychiatrist currently working at Choctaw Nation Health Services at the McAlester, Oklahoma clinic. Dr. Andrzejczyk-Beatty earned her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. She completed her residency in psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. While there, she served as chief resident during her third year of training. Dr. Andrzejczyk-Beatty regularly lectures for residents and medical students at Choctaw Nation, presented at the Choctaw Nation Suicide Awareness Conference, presented at the Pittsburg County Medical Society, was a speaker at the 2018 Oklahoma Osteopathic Association Convention, and more recently presented at the IHS conference. She is adjunct faculty for Oklahoma State University College of Medicine.

Tanisha L. Frederick, Founder, Beautiful As You Are, New Albany, IN
Ms. Frederick is the founder of Beautiful as You Are (BAYA), an organization serving girls age 6-18 with the purpose of building the self-esteem and teaching them how to cope with stress in a positive way instead of turning to destructive behaviors and suicide. Since BAYA began in 2014, it has grown from 7 to over 300 girls in Southern Indiana and Louisville, KY. In 2020, the BAYA Center opened its doors as a dedicated space for girls to come and use the decompression room and attend workshops to learn coping strategies. BAYA also partners with a local counseling office to provide therapy for BAYA girls at no cost. After 7 years of serving as BAYA’s Executive Director in a volunteer capacity, Ms. Frederick became its first full-time employee, allowing BAYA to expand its services to provide mental health supports to even more children in Southern Indiana and Louisville, KY.

Octavia Harris, Veteran, San Antonio, TX
Command Master Chief Octavia D. Harris retired from the US Navy August 2012 after 30 years. She led in commands at sea, ashore and overseas. In 1994 assigned in USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) as one of the first female Sailors on a combatant warship. Only 1 percent of the US military can promote to the rank E9, less than that are women; even less are minorities. In her career she completed seven Middle Eastern deployments in direct support of the war on terror. Her Command Master Chief at sea tour was aboard USS PINCKNEY (DDG 91). Her final tour of duty was as Command Master Chief Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command leading over 10,000 men and women in the Commander’s vision and mission of Information Warfare Dominance across the Enterprise, DoD and Global Operations with our allies.

She earned a B.A. Degree in Healthcare Administration from National University and M.S. Degree in Healthcare Operations Management from the University of Arkansas.

As a Civil Service employee, she was the Program Manager for the Comprehensive Advanced Restorative Effort (CARE) program at Naval Medical Center San Diego. This National program collaborated with the VA Medical Centers and Civilian Medical Centers of Excellence in the multidisciplinary care for the most traumatically Wounded, Ill and Injured men and women in the Armed Forces.

She was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Defense to be a Member of the Defense Advisory Committee On Women In The Services (DACOWITS), where women make up nearly 18% of the best Armed Forces in the world. She was selected early-on as the Sub-Committee Chair for Employment and Integration. She recently completed 6 years serving, including as Chair of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (ACWV), leading a group of Veterans from across the Nation representing a voice for over 2 million Women Veterans across all generations and Armed Forces.

Le Ondra Clark Harvey, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, Sacramento, CA
Dr. Clark Harvey is a psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, a statewide advocacy organization representing mental health and substance use disorder non-profit agencies that collectively serve over 750 thousand Californians annually. She is also the Executive Director of the California Access Coalition- a group of advocacy organizations and pharmaceutical industry companies that advocates for patient access to behavioral health treatment. Dr. Clark Harvey has previously served as Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, Principal Consultant to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, and a health policy consultant to the office of former Senator Curren D. Price, Jr.

Prior to her work within the California Legislature, she completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed her pre-doctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles Mattel Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Clark Harvey has maintained an impressive record of leadership including serving on national and local boards including the American Psychological Association (APA), and prior positions on the Association of Black Psychologists, Sacramento County Public Health Advisory Board and the Sacramento County Children’s Coalition. Dr. Clark Harvey has received numerous local and national awards and in 2020, was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to his Master Plan on Aging Advisory Committee and the Behavioral Health Task Force. In 2021, she was appointed by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Board.

Kathryn Icenhower, Ph.D., Manager, Women’s Substance Use Disorders Programs Office of Behavioral Health, Denver, CO
Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kathryn Icenhower co-founded SHIELDS for Families with Dr. Xylina Bean and Norma Mtume, MA in the late 1980’s and officially incorporated the agency in 1991.

Kathryn received her BSSW from Ohio State University and her M.S.W and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She has worked in the substance abuse and child welfare fields for over thirty years in both clinical and administrative positions and has remained at the forefront of the field as an advocate for innovative, comprehensive and collaborative services for high-risk communities.

Under Dr. Icenhower’s guidance, SHIELDS programs have been nationally recognized and used as models by federal, state and local entities including HUD, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. In addition, SHIELDS has been recognized in special reports by the Children’s Defense Fund, the Washington Health Foundation, the National Economic Development and Law Center, Little Hoover Commission, and the Rockefeller Foundation for its innovative and effective models of service. SHIELDS has also been featured in articles in the Los Angeles Times, Parade Magazine and in local and national television features, including CNN, “Life Moments”, “A Place of our Own”, “48 Hours” and “Vh1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”. SHIELDS has also received numerous awards from notable sources for its cost-efficiency, innovative programming, women’s empowerment, and more.

Kathryn sits on numerous local, state, and federal coalitions and advisory boards. She is a member of the California State Child Welfare Council, and was a founding member of the California Perinatal Treatment Network and the National Family Centered Treatment Director’s Coalition. She was also appointed by the California Speaker of the Assembly as a Commissioner for the State’s Children’s and Families Commission (First 5 CA) in 2011. Dr. Icenhower also serves as a consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Registry for Evidenced Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and has assisted the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) with policy development for Family Centered Treatment, as well as providing technical assistance on child welfare initiatives nationally through Casey Family Programs.

In 2005, Dr. Icenhower was given an “Innovator Award” from CSAT for her work in Family Centered Treatment. In 2009, she received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her piloting efforts in the child welfare and substance abuse fields. In 2011, Dr. Icenhower was recognized by Los Angeles Magazine as one of the 50 most influential women in Los Angeles.

Joanne Nicholson, Professor of the Practice, The Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Joanne Nicholson, Ph.D., is Professor in the Institute for Behavioral Health and a clinical and research psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with parents with serious mental illnesses and their families. She is Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Nicholson has an active program of research on parents and their children, in partnership with people in recovery. She and her collaborators have developed rehabilitation education and training programs and materials for parents, integrating the current knowledge on parents with serious mental illnesses and evaluating interventions for families, including the pilot Family Options intervention and, more recently, the ParentingWell initiative in Massachusetts, USA. Nicholson and colleagues are exploiting emerging technologies on behalf of individuals with serious mental illnesses, developing and testing the WorkingWell mobile app to provide support for individuals in the workplace.

Nicholson has provided training and consultation to local, regional, and national organizations such as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Manic Depressive/Depressive Association, Mental Health America, Families for Depression Awareness, the Institute on Family-Centered Care, and the Child Welfare League of America. She has visited parents and programs around the world as a consultant and trainer, providing keynote presentations and working together with national and international groups in Australia, The Netherlands, Spain, Norway, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Austria, Finland and provinces across Canada. Nicholson and her colleagues published the first guide for parents living with mental illness written by parents, Parenting Well When You’re Depressed and a guide for professionals written by professionals, Creating Options for Family Recovery: A Provider’s Guide to Promoting Parental Mental Health. She has published over 150 papers and original articles in professional journals and edited volumes, as well as provided interviews for newspapers, magazines and radio in the U.S. and other countries, and has been an invited contributor to the Huffington Post.

Nicholson has received funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Alliance for Mental Illness Research Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Library of Medicine, PCORI, the National Science Foundation, private foundations and industry sources. She is an Advisory Group member and consultant to numerous research initiatives and community-based organizations serving parents and families in the U.S. and abroad.

Lavita Nadkarni, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Director of Forensic Studies, University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Denver, CO
Dr. Lavita Nadkarni is Associate Dean, Director of Forensic Studies, and Professor at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology (GSPP), where she teaches graduate level students, specifically practicum courses in the MAFP program and supervises doctoral students who conduct forensic assessments for community members who are legally involved and underserved. She has been teaching, consulting, and presenting on issues related to forensic psychology for more than 25 years, specifically related to women and children (such as interpersonal violence, child custody, and evaluations involving hardship, VAWA, T-visa, U-visa matters). Dr. Nadkarni has also supervised graduate students involved in research contracts assessing high-risk criminally involved populations, and those returning citizens who have co-occurring substance use and mental illness disorders. She has program evaluation experience with correctional and legally-encumbered individuals and programs. Dr. Nadkarni is a well regarded scholar (one of the co-Editors of the Principles of Forensic Report Writing and Handbook of Multicultural Counseling Competencies). Dr. Nadkarni has served as the Associate Editor and Editor of the Psychotherapy Bulletin, (2008-2013), has been a manuscript and book reviewer for numerous journals and publishers, has been a proposal reviewer for Division 29 and Division 41 multicultural awards and conference presentations. Since January 2018, she has served as Associate Editor for Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Dr. Nadkarni has been involved with the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology since 2001 and recently served as President of the Council.

Jill D. Mays, M.S, LPC, Director, Office of Federal Grant Program and Cultural and Linguistic Competency, Atlanta, GA
Jill D. Mays is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field. Recognized by Atlanta Magazine along with former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and a list of other noted "Women Making a Mark." Jill’s passion for helping others has led her to dedicate most of her career to developing and leading successful clinical and service provision programs in Atlanta and across the country, especially for women and children. Springing out of her own lived experience and that of close family members and friends, for the last five years Ms. Mays has focused her passion on advocating for the unique behavioral health needs of African American women and emerging adult women (ages 18-26).

Ms. Mays is currently Director of the Office of Federal Grant Programs and Cultural & Linguistic Competency at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), where she oversees the implementation, management and evaluation of grants, including SAMHSA’s Mental Health Block Grant, the Crisis Bed Registry Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI) grant, and the Projects to Assist in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) grant. Additionally, she directs the development and implementation of DBHDD’s cultural and linguistic competency framework, as well as provides diversity and inclusion competency standards technical assistance and training for staff at the state and working within the contracted network of safety net providers. Formerly, she was Assistant Director of the Office of Adult Mental Health where she provided programmatic and contract oversight for crisis services, the PATH Program, Behavioral Health Treatment Court Services, the Forensic Peer Mentor Program, veterans and older adults initiatives, and other special projects, including DBHDD’s collaboration with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) for the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training Program. In the past Ms. Mays served as Director of Women & Children’s Services for Atlanta Mission for nearly 15 years; and as Regional Outreach & Resource Development Coordinator for the Disaster Distress Helpline she worked to establish SAMHSA’s first-ever 24/7 crisis hotline and texting service for anyone in the US experiencing emotional distress related to a natural or man-made disaster.

Judge Duane Slone, Fourth Judicial District, State of Tennessee, Dandridge, TN
Judge Slone currently serves as a circuit court judge in Dandridge, TN. He established Drug Recovery Court in his district, has created the TN Recovery Oriented Compliance Strategy specifically to address the needs of addicted pregnant women with OUD, co-founded the Boys & Girls Club of Dumplin Valley, was a partner for the implementation of a NAS Primary Prevention Initiative, and established a safe home in his rural district for opioid addicted pregnant women. He’s received multiple awards, such as TN Public Health Association “Visionary Award”, The TN Association of Alcohol, Drug, and other Addiction Services “Voice of Recovery Award” and “Jefferson Countian of the Year, the TN Association of Recovery Court Professionals “Judges Making a Difference Aware” and more. Judge Slone is also the father of three adopted children, one with SED and one who was born with NAS.


Nomination for Membership

The ACWS membership includes individuals who represent legislatively mandated categories and serve 4-year terms. The membership criteria is described under the ‘Membership and Designation’ section in the ACWS Charter. ACWS accepts nominations on a rolling basis and keeps nomination information on file for up to three years for consideration to fill any vacancies that may occur. Interested persons, who meet the membership criteria, can send their resume with a brief statement of intent to SAMHSA with subject line “ACWS Nomination."

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Last Updated: 05/16/2024
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