The mental health field is one that is constantly changing and New York State’s Office of Mental Health is experiencing changes of its own.
OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan recently wrote what many are calling a letter of farewell on the department's website. In this message, he said, “Because of a planned transition that will soon be announced, this will likely be my last OMH News message as Commissioner.”
He continued and said, “Working in the biggest, best (and most complicated!) state mental health agency in the country has been the pinnacle of a long career. Over the past five years, we have seen continuous challenges and made spectacular advances.”
He referenced the evolution of the mental health field in New York, noting, “When the Utica State Asylum opened in 1843, there was no health system.” He also mentioned ACA, saying, “Until federal ‘parity’ legislation was established and made real by the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’) this country had no national health program that clearly included mental health care.”
The final words of his message are as follows: “It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with you. OMH will continue to have exemplary leadership in the times ahead, with the strongest team of any state mental health agency. Good luck and godspeed.”
The governor’s office has confirmed the news, but said the administration did not ask him to leave.
Hogan was confirmed as Commissioner of Mental Health in New York by the Senate in March 2007. He had previously served as Ohio’s director of Mental Health from 1991-2007 and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health from 1987-1991.