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CMHS National Advisory Council


SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) National Advisory Council advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the Director, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), concerning matters relating to the activities carried out by and through the Center and the policies respecting such activities.

About CMHS National Advisory Council

The Advisory Council also reviews summary statements for applications submitted for grants and cooperative agreements for activities for which Advisory Council approval is required under section 504(c)(2) of the Public Health Service Act.

The Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council was established under Section 502 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 290aa-1).  It was originally chartered on December 9, 1992 in accordance with P.L. 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2).

The Council advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the Director, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), concerning matters relating to the activities carried out by and through the Center and the policies respecting such activities.  The Advisory Council also reviews summary statements for applications submitted for grants and cooperative agreements for activities for which Advisory Council approval is required under section 504(c)(2) of the Public Health Service Act.

The Council may collect information on studies and services related not only to the issues of substance abuse and mental illness, but also to issues linked to diseases, disorders or other aspects of human health with respect to the mission of SAMHSA and its Centers.

With the approval of the Administrator and Center Director, the Council may make information available through appropriate means for the benefit of public and private health entities, health professionals, scientists, and the general public.

Council Charter

Management and support services for the CMHS National Advisory Councils are provided by the respective Center for Mental Health Services.

Committee’s Official Designation

Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council


The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) National Advisory Council (NAC) was established in accordance with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 290aa-1, section 502 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  The Council is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), (as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.  

Objectives and Scope of Activities

The CMHS NAC will advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use (Assistant Secretary), and the CMHS Director on matters related to developing, promoting, and improving the mental health of the people of the United States.   

To achieve these objectives, the Council looks into designing national priorities for the prevention and treatment of mental illness and the promotion of mental health; encouraging and assisting local entities and state agencies to achieve these goals as priorities; involving consumer and families fully in orienting the mental health system toward recovery; improving access to quality care that is culturally competent; developing and coordinating federal prevention policies and programs; eliminating disparities in mental health services; making early mental health screening, assessment and referral to services common practice; advancing evidence-based practices; and developing and implementing health technology and telehealth systems to improve access and coordination of mental health care.

Description of Duties

The CMHS NAC shall, on the basis of material provided, make recommendations to the HHS Secretary, the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary, and the Center Director with respect to activities conducted at the Center; shall review summary statements for applications submitted for grants and cooperative agreements for activities for which Advisory Council approval is required under Section 504(c)(2) of the Public Health Service Act. Per Section 502(2)(ii) the Advisory Council will recommend for approval applications for projects that show promise of making valuable contributions to the Center’s mission; and may review any grant or cooperative agreement proposed to be made or entered into by the organization. The CMHS NAC may collect, by correspondence or by personal investigation, information as to studies and services that are being carried on in the United States, or any other country as to diseases, disorders or other aspects of human health with respect to the mission of CMHS, and with the approval of the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary or the Center Director make such information available through appropriate publications for the benefit of public and private health entities and health professions personnel and for the information of the general public.  With the approval of the CMHS Director, the CMHS NAC may appoint subcommittees and convene workshops and conferences.

Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports

The CMHS NAC shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the HHS Secretary, the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary, and the CMHS Director concerning matters relating to the activities carried out by and through the Center and the policies respecting such activities.


Management and support services shall be provided by the Office of Program Analysis and Coordination, CMHS, SAMHSA.

Estimate Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years

The estimated annual operating costs for the CMHS NAC, to include travel, meetings, federal staff support and contracting support, is approximately $148,900.00 and 1.0 fulltime equivalent.  

Designated Federal Officer

The CMHS Director shall designate a Center staff member to serve as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) of the Advisory Council.  The DFO will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all council 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 Advisory Council reports.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

The Chair of the Advisory Council meetings will call the subcommittee and regular council meetings to order, with the approval of the DFO. The CMHS NAC shall meet no less than two times during each fiscal year.  The location of the meetings of the Advisory Council shall be subject to the approval of the Assistant Secretary, and/or the CMHS Director.

CMHS NAC meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the HHS Secretary (or the designee), in accordance with the Government in the 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 part of a meeting is closed to the public, a report shall be prepared which shall contain, at a minimum, a list of members and their business addresses, the CMHS Council’s functions, dates, and places of meetings, and a summary of Council activities and recommendations made during the fiscal year.




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

Membership and Designation

The CMHS NAC shall consist of the following non-voting, ex officio federal members: the HHS Secretary; the SAMHSA Assistant Secretary; the CMHS Director; the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Assistant Secretary for Defense for Health Affairs (or the designates of such officers); the SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer; the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health; and such additional officers or employees of the United States as the Secretary determines necessary for the Advisory Council to effectively carry out its functions; and not more than 12 members to be appointed by the Secretary.  

Of the 12 appointed members, at least half will have a medical degree, doctoral degree in psychology, or an advanced degree in nursing or social work from an accredited graduate school or be a certified physician assistant; and shall specialize in the mental health field.

Nine members shall be from among the leading representatives of the health disciplines (including public health and behavioral and social sciences), relevant to the activities of CMHS; and three members shall be from the general public and shall include leaders in the fields of public policy, public relations, law, health policy economics, or management.  All 12 appointed members shall serve as Special Government Employees.

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

The HHS Secretary may select an individual from among the appointed members or may select the CMHS Director to serve as chair of the Council.  The term of office of the chair shall be two years.

The term of office of a member of the CMHS Council shall be four years, except that a member may serve after the end of the member’s term until a successor has been appointed and taken office.  If a vacancy occurs in the Advisory Council among the members, the Secretary shall make an 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 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 Council before two years from the date of end of such term of office.

The CMHS Director shall provide orientation and training for new members of the CMHS NAC and such information and training as may be appropriate for their effective participation in the functions of the Council.


Subcommittees may be established by the parent committee with the approval of the Assistant Secretary or the CMHS Director.  The 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 establishment of each subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


Meetings of the Council and its subcommittees will be conducted according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, other applicable laws, and Departmental policies.  Council and subcommittee records will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule, 6.2, Federal Advisory Committee Records or other approved 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

Council Roster

Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Pamela Foote
Designated Federal Officer
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Jane Adams, Ph.D., Director, Keys for Networking, Topeka, Kansas
Since 1994, Dr. Jane Adams has been the Executive Director of Keys for Networking, Inc., the Kansas state organization of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Keys for Networking is the statewide family organization that provides outreach, training, information, support, and advocacy to the parents of Kansas’ 60,000 children projected to have serious emotional disturbances. Keys staff are parents of children and/or primary consumers of mental health services. The staff provide peer-to-peer support as well as connect parents throughout Kansas to other state and national channels of independent information.

Dr. Adams currently serves as a Governor’s Appointee to the Kansas Governor’s Behavioral Health Planning Council to represent the voice of families whose children have severe emotional disturbances and mental health disorders. From 2002-2003, Dr. Adams was a Presidential Appointee to the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. She was a member of the Kansas Social Rehabilitation Services 2002 Task Force to explore the role of state mental hospitals in the community-based continuum of services for children. She has also served as an appointee to the 1997 Topeka State Hospital Closure Committee and the 2001 Legislative Hospital Review Commission.

As Executive Director of Keys for Networking, Dr. Adams has been instrumental in securing the Medicaid Home- and Community-based Services waiver for Kansas children with severe emotional disturbances. Kansas is one of only three states to offer Medicaid-funded choices to allow parents to raise children with severe emotional disturbances at home. In addition, she has provided leadership to mobilize families statewide to contact their legislators to secure mental health parity coverage at 200 percent of the poverty level, and funding for a statewide mental health system of care for children and their families.

Dr. Adams has authored and co-authored products such as: Keys CD-ROM, an online Wraparound Training module (Strengths-based Planning, Cultural Competence, Family Involvement, and School Mental Health Collaboration); “STAR”, a five module CD-ROM Parent Guide to Proactive Discipline; “Blamed and Ashamed”, a youth-directed national research study of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatments; “Best Practices in Facilitating Meaningful Family Involvement in Educational Decision Making" for school psychologists; "Moving Forward Together: Parent Professional Partnership”; and “Children Time Forgot, A Study of Children Who Died While Incarcerated in the 1800s.”

Dr. Adams received her Master's in Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders and a Ph.D., in Education Administration/Special Education from Kansas State University.

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of California-Davis, School of Medicine
In addition to being the Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the University of California-Davis (UCD) School of Medicine, Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is also a Professor of Internal Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California-Davis (UCD); the Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UCD Clinical Translational Science Center; the Co-Director of the UCD Latino Aging Research and Resource Center; and co-chair of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Community Engagement Consortium Key Function Committee for the NIH-funded Clinical Translational Service Awards. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mental Health America for a two-year term (2008-2010) and is currently a Steering Committee and Research Scientist member of the National Hispanic Science Network; a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Carlos Slim Health Institute; a member of the Board of Latino Physicians of California; First Vice President of National Alliance on Mental Illness, California; and a member of the California Medical Board’s Cultural and Linguistic Competency Program Workgroup. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the author of over 110 scientific publications.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is an internationally renowned expert on mental health in ethnic populations. His applied research program has focused on identifying mental health needs and associated risk and protective factors to better understand and reduce mental health disparities, primarily in underserved populations, with a focus on translating research knowledge into practical information for consumers and their families, policymakers, health care providers, and the public.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola was the on-site principal investigator for the Mexican American Prevalence and Services Survey, the largest mental health study conducted in the U.S., on Mexican Americans, which identified the most prevalent mental health disorders in the Mexican-origin population in California’s Central Valley. The study showed that rates of disorders increased the longer the individual resided in the U.S. and that children of immigrants have even greater rates of mental disorders. From this study, he developed a model of service delivery that increased access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s low-income, underserved, and rural populations.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Vanderbilt University distinguished Alumnus Award, the Medal of Congress of Chile for work related to mental health research, the DHHS Office of Minority Health’s 2005 National Minority Health Community Leader Award, and the 2012-2013 UCD Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community.

Leonard Bickman, Ph.D., M.A., B.S., Betts Chair and Professor of Psychology, Peabody College, Emeritus, Director, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Dr. Bickman is currently a Research Professor at Vanderbilt University, where he taught for 35 years holding the Betts Endowed Chair. Dr. Bickman also holds a professorship at Florida International University. He was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration where he was recognized with the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Dr. Bickman is co-editor of two handbooks on applied social research methods and social research methods for Sage Publications and is co-editing a new handbook on program evaluation for Guilford Press. Dr. Bickman is editor in chief and founder of the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. He has published more than 15 books and monographs, and 200 articles and many chapters. Dr. Bickman has received funding from numerous federal, state and local agencies and foundations and has received several awards recognizing his significant contributions including: Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service, HHS; a Fulbright Senior Scholarship; The American Psychological Association’s Public Interest Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research in Public Policy, and the Education and Training in Psychology Award for Distinguished Contributions; Vanderbilt University’s Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research; and the American Evaluation Association Outstanding Evaluation Award and the Association’s Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award. He is a past president of the American Evaluation Association and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Dr. Bickman’s research interests include program evaluation, web-based outcomes measurement and feedback systems, the organizational and psychological factors that influence professionals’ practice behavior, and the application of artificial intelligence to human services.

Lori Criss, M.S.W., The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Lori Criss holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Ohio State University. She graduated from SAMHSA’s 2010-2011 Women's Addiction Services Leadership Institute, a year-long, nationally-selective, intensive program designed to build leaders for the nation’s behavioral health field. Ms. Criss has most recently served on the Advisory Board to Ohio’s Criminal Sentencing Commission, the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Addiction Policy Committee, and Ohio’s Housing and Homeless Collaborative. She is a former board member for the National Alliance for Recovery Residences and served as the Principal Advisor for Ohio Recovery Housing.

A native of eastern Ohio, Ms. Criss has been engaged in the behavioral health field since 1992. Her experience includes working for the Ohio Commission on Minority Health and Amethyst, Inc. Prior to coming to OhioMHAS, Ms. Criss served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers.

Charles Dike, M.D., FRCPsych, M.P.H, DP, FACHE, Co-Division Director, Law and Psychiatry Division, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
Dr. Charles C. Dike completed medical school at Obafemi Awolowo University (Formerly University of Ife), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and psychiatric residency at All Birmingham Hospitals Psychiatric Training Scheme (associated with the University of Birmingham), Birmingham, England. After additional psychiatric residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Dr. Dike completed a fellowship training in Law and Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dike obtained a Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry (DCP) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ireland and was awarded a membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists of England in 1998. He obtained a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004.

A past president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society, Dr. Dike is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (DFAPA), Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists of England (FRCPsych), and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). He is Chair of the Ethics Committee of the APA, former Vice President of the American Academy of Psychiatry, and the Law (AAPL), Co-Editor of Behavioral Sciences and the Law Journal and past Editor of the Newsletter of AAPL. He is founding Chair of the Diversity Committee and Forensic Hospital Services Committee of AAPL. He was Associate Program Director, Law and Psychiatry Fellowship Program (2012-2021) and is now Co-Division Director, Law and Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Dike is also Medical Director, Office of the Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, after serving for years as Director of the state's forensic hospital facility.

Anthony Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association, Nashville, Tennessee
Anthony Fox is the President and CEO for the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Association (TMHCA) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mr. Fox has 23 years’ experience in the mental health field, overseeing one of the largest agencies in the nation.

He expanded TMHCA’s business 1200% over 8 years, reaching $4.5M by designing and managing innovative programs and obtaining supporting revenue.

Mr. Fox has positioned TMHCA as the number one provider of Medicaid peer services in the Nation and opened TMHCA Peer Center in Memphis where served thousands of people with mental illness and/or substance use disorder.

Mr. Fox partnered with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and four mental health providers to develop a Peer Intensive Care Services in Crisis Stabilization Units and Regional Mental Health Hospitals in Tennessee. In 2010 he purchased and opened the Beers Van Gogh Center (BVG) of Excellence, a multipurpose housing facility where people with mental illness/homeless individuals live and receive training to establish or re-establish links to mainstream resources.

Michele Reid, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CNS Healthcare, Novi, Michigan
Dr. Michele Reid is a Psychiatry Specialist in Novi, Michigan. Dr. Reid is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area. She has been in practice for more than 20 years and has over 42 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Reid graduated from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine in 1980.

Dr. Reid also holds licenses in pharmacy-controlled substance, DEA registration and DEA DATA waiver.

Dr. Reid won the National Alliance on Mental Illness honors award in 2019 for physician/psychiatrist of the year.

Dr. Reid provides lectures, psychiatry rotations, and community service during her free time.

David Shern, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor, Valrico, Florida
David Shern has a 30 plus year career as a mental health services researcher and advocate. He was most recently the President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), formerly the National Mental Health Association, the country's oldest and largest advocacy group addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. Prior to joining MHA, he was dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida, one of the nation's largest research and training institutes in behavioral health. Dr. Shern also founded and directed the National Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health—a National Institute of Mental Health-funded services research center located in the New York State Office of Mental Health. In addition to advocacy and public education, his research has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including epidemiological, service system organization, and financing issues largely focused on persons with severe mental illnesses. More recently he has worked on several projects related to prevention and promotion in behavioral health.

Sampat S. Shivangi, M.D., FICS, Board of Mental Health, Jackson, Mississippi
Dr. Sampat Shivangi completed his Doctor of Medicine in Ob-Gyn and migrated to the United States in 1976 and completed a fellowship from the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Shivangi served as the Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2008. He is the founding president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in Mississippi and is the past president and chair of the India Association of Mississippi. In addition, he is the medical physician on the Mississippi Board of Mental Health. He has served as Vice Chairman and Chair of the Mississippi State Board of Mental Health.

His many philanthropic activities include serving with the Blind Foundation of Mississippi, Diabetic, Cancer, and Heart Associations of America. Dr. Shivangi has a number of philanthropic work in India including primary and middle schools, Cultural Centers, InHealth MD Alliance Centers that he opened. He brought the first-ever U.S. Congressional grant to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin to study Diabetes Mellitus among Indian Americans.

Conni Wells, Regional Director, Tennessee Voice for Children, Goodlettsville, Tennessee
Ms. Wells is a parent, grandparent, and family member of children, youth, and adults with special health care needs, including mental and emotional disorders. She is also a consumer of mental health services. She has enhanced the capacity of over 1 million individuals and countless national and international agencies, organizations, and programs in program development, leadership, risk management, health care system and policy development. She has more than 29 years of experience in developing, founding, leading, and managing community, state and national nonprofits and developing and directing family and consumer-ran programs. She has participated as a partner with systems in creating responsive systems of care for individuals with special needs and their families.

Ms. Wells was a member of the SAMHSA System of Care Coordinating Council. Ms. Wells has had the opportunity to learn and work with many experts in the field in relation to social marketing, communication, and developing strategic planning on behalf of systems of care (SOC) expansion across the nation. She served as a Senior Consultant at the Georgetown University National Center on Cultural Competence and as a Transformation Facilitator for the Georgetown University National TA Center for Systems of Care. She received the 2016 Karl Dennis Award as a person that has made a lasting contribution to children’s mental health on the national level. She has contributed to the body of knowledge of the philosophy or practice of wraparound and unconditional care, that has compassion for children, youth, and their families in their work. Ms. Wells served on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) from 2015 to 2020.

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC

Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Shelli Avenevoli, Ph.D.
Acting Director
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD

Patricia A Areán, Ph.D.
Division of Services & Intervention Research (HN78)
National Institute of Mental Health
Rockville, MD

Chris Loftis, Ph.D.
National Director
VA/DoD Integrated Mental Health Mental Health
Mental Health Services
VA Central Office
Washington, DC

Nomination for Membership

Nomination for Membership

The CMHS NAC membership includes individuals who represent legislatively mandated categories and serve 4-year terms. The criteria to be considered for membership is described in the CMHS NAC Charter, under the section ‘Membership and Designation’. CMHS NAC accepts nominations on a rolling basis and will keep nomination information on file for consideration to fill any vacancies that may occur for up to 3 years. Interested persons who meet the membership criteria can send their CV/resume with a brief statement of intent, to the SAMHSA National Advisory Councils Resource Mailbox, with subject line “CMHS NAC Nomination” to:

Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/17/2024
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