Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Mental Health Expert Chavez Is Clinton's Choice to Head SAMHSA

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Mental Health Expert Chavez Is Clinton's Choice to Head SAMHSA

Article excerpt

After an extensive search, the Administration has finally decided on a permanent director at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA). President Clinton announced his intention to nominate Nelba R. Chavez, PhD, 53, of San Francisco as the agency's new director.

Touted as an expert on mental health, Chavez has served on numerous boards and committees, including credentialing committees, the President's National Council on the Handicapped, a subcommittee of the President's Commission on Mental Health, the U.S. Hispanci Advisory Committee, and the White House Prevention Committee for a Drug Free America.

For the past three years, Chavez has served as director of Juvenile Probation Services for the city and county of San Francisco. Prior to that time, she headed Chavez and Associates, providing consultation and training services in behavioral health and substance abuse prevention.

"Dr. Chavez has valuable first-hand experience with the many problems that surrounds drug abuse in our country," said HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala. "She will be an important asset on the president's team to prevent and treat drug abuse, especially among America's younger people."

Philip R. Lee, MD, assistant secretary for health and director of the Public Health Service, said, "Chavez will direct activities of the U.S. Public Health Service agency that provides national ea dership in policy, services and knowledge transfer for mental health, alcohol other prevention and treatment, areas she has been involved in for 30 years. …

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