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Mental Health America names new President and CEO

March 19, 2014
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Paul Gionfriddo, an experienced nonprofit leader and former state legislator and mayor, has been named the new President and CEO of Mental Health America by the organization's board of directors. Gionfriddo was selected following an extensive national search.

"We are delighted to have Paul assume leadership of Mental Health America," said Ann Boughtin, board chair. "A long-time advocate in the mental health field and an experienced nonprofit executive, he is an ideal choice to carry forward the organization's historic and leading role in advancing the health and well-being of Americans."

Gionfriddo said, "For more than a century, Mental Health America has been our nation's leading advocate for mental health--working for prevention, early intervention, sound treatment and recovery.  I look forward to carrying on this work with affiliates across the country at a time of growing need and often-diminishing investments in mental health."

For more than 30 years, Gionfriddo has held key health and public health-related leadership positions. In addition to leading nonprofit organizations in three states, he ran his own consulting business, specializing in public health, children's health, primary care and mental health. From 1978 through 1991, he served as a full-time elected official, with eleven years in the Connecticut State Legislature, and two years as Mayor of Middletown, Connecticut.

In 2013, he was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to a four-year term on the 12-member National Advisory Council to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services.

At the national level, Gionfriddo has worked extensively with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on health services research dissemination to state and local policy leaders, helping to develop workshops and programs on long term care, prevention and public health, child health, minority health, and urban health, and was a member of the faculty of the Applied Statistics Training Institute of the National Center for Health Statistics. He also worked on health policy projects with the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, the National Governors Association, and National Conference of State Legislatures.