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Office of Mental Health

About Our Executive Team

Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan, MD

Commissioner

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Dr. Sullivan has served as Commissioner for the New York State Office of Mental Health since 2014. As Commissioner, she has guided the expansion of community-based treatment, reinvesting over 100 million dollars in community services and enabling individuals living with serious mental illness to live successfully in their community.

Major initiatives have included the integration of physical, mental health and substance use in care and treatment, integrating prevention, wellness and the social determinants of health in service delivery, reducing disparities in care and enhancements in the criminal justice system that divert individuals living with mental illness from jails and prisons and prevent their return. She has also overseen statewide expansion of critical programs including Zero Suicide, First Episode Psychosis Teams, crisis intervention services and school-based clinics. Working closely with all mental health providers and health plans, she guided the movement of the health benefit for the seriously mentally ill into managed care.

She previously served as Senior Vice President for the Queens Health Network of New York City Health and Hospitals, and Director of Psychiatry at Elmhurst and Queens Hospitals where she developed comprehensive inpatient and ambulatory psychiatric service system that including specialty Asian and Hispanic ser­vices, comprehensive youth programs, comprehensive substance use services and Mobile outreach and school-based programs.

Dr. Sullivan grew up in Queens, New York. She graduated from New York University Washington Square College and New York University School of Medicine. She completed her Psychiatric Residency at New York University/Bellevue Hospital.

Dr. Sullivan has taught, lectured, and published on best practices in community care and is an active advocate for her patients and her profession. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has served as the Speaker of the American Psychiatric Association 's Assembly and on its Board of Trustees. She is a Clinical Professor at the Mt Sinai School of Medicine, a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and a member of the American College of Psychiatrists.

 

Moira Tashjian, MPA

Executive Deputy Commissioner

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Moira Tashjian provides oversight and guidance to a multi-billion-dollar budget with over 14,000 employees all committed to improving the lives of individuals challenged with mental health needs.

Moira has over thirty-five years of experience serving at the local, regional, and state levels of the mental health system. Moira was also instrumental in opening some of the first housing programs in the early 1990's for individuals who were homeless living with HIV/AIDS. She came to OMH in 2001 after working in community residential services and as the Behavioral Health Systems Administrator for the Schenectady County Office of Community Service. Moira has held various positions at the OMH including as the Statewide Assisted Outpatient Treatment Coordinator, Director of Care Coordination and Assertive Community Treatment, Director of Housing and the Associate Commissioner of Adult Community Services. Moira holds a Master's in Public Administration from Marist College. Moira is a compassionate, tireless leader in advocating for the needs of New Yorkers with mental illness. She was awarded the ACLAIMH 2016 Advocacy Award.

She has used her wealth of experience in program and policy areas as an Adjunct at the University of Albany School of Social Welfare teaching master level Social Welfare Policy and Mental Health Policy for over 14 years.

Moira is an active member of the Executive Committee for the Ride for Missing Children supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

Thomas Smith, MD

Chief Medical Officer

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Dr. Smith oversees clinical and quality aspects of the New York State public mental health system with a focus on improving access to prevention, recovery, and rehabilitation services for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). He is the recipient of numerous NIMH and foundation grants for studies of engagement strategies for persons with SMI, services for persons with first episode psychosis, and care management approaches for high need persons with SMI. Dr. Smith is also Special Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University.

Dr. Smith earned his M.D. at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Chicago before coming to New York where he has had extensive experience as a clinician, hospital administrator, and researcher, initially at Weill Cornell from 1989-2001. He moved to Columbia in 2001 and in 2008, joined the behavioral health services research division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Dr. Smith participated in the design and implementation of New York State's behavioral health Medicaid Managed Care redesign and has played a lead role in OMH programs that support population health monitoring for engagement in care and adverse events. He also oversees NYS OMH mental health parity enforcement efforts as well as initiatives to develop system level quality and performance measures.

 

Emil J. Slane, BS, MS

Deputy Commissioner and Chief Fiscal Officer

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Emil Slane brings 28 years of budgeting, fiscal, and policy experience to the Office of Mental Health. In this role, Emil oversees the Office of Financial Management with responsibility for budgeting, contracting, cost reporting, revenue collection, rate setting, capital and administrative support and strategic financial planning activities for the OMH.

Emil started his career in state government as a public management intern in 1993. He joined OMH in 2008 as the Director of Community Budget and Financial Management responsible for administering funding for residential, treatment and community support programs in the community mental health system. He previously worked at the Division of the Budget in the Health and Mental Hygiene Units for 13 years and has extensive experience with New York's health care and human services delivery systems.

During his career in New York State government, Emil received numerous policy and leadership awards for his work including recognition from the Mental Health Association and Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies.

Emil has a B.S. in Biology (1991) and a M.S. in Management and Policy (1993) with a concentration in Health Care Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

 

J. Mark Noordsy, JD

Deputy Commissioner and Chief Counsel

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Mark Noordsy was confirmed as Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel to the Office of Mental Health in December 2017. He serves as the agency's chief attorney and supervisor of OMH’ s Counsel 's Office, whose attorneys advise the Commissioner of Mental Health and agency staff on a broad range of legal issues, including litigation, legislation, regulations, policies, procurement, finance, and budget issues.

Mr. Noordsy spent 28 years in private practice working on municipal, business, and real estate matters, along with associated litigation. In 2010 he began State service at the Office of the Medicaid General, followed by the Department of Health, and then OMH.

Mr. Noordsy has a J.D. with honors from the George Washington University School of Law, and B.A. magna cum laude with a major in Government from St. Lawrence University.

 

Robert W. Myers, Ph.D., LMSW

Senior Deputy Commissioner, Division of Community Program Management and Managed Care

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Dr. Myers’s responsibilities include operational oversight of Adult and Children's Services, development, and implementation bringing the mental health benefit into managed care, the licensing of mental health providers and regulatory reform.

Prior positions with OMH included Director or Operations at Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center; and Director of Regional Operations and Director of Housing for OMH in Central Office. Prior to coming to New York, he was a regional administrator for the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and an administrative supervisor for the Middlesex County Welfare Board. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S.W. from Rutgers University.

Dr. Myers has received numerous awards for his work in New York State including recognitions from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, The Mental Health Association, The Coalition for Behavioral Health Agencies, The Association for Behavioral Health Agencies, The Association for Community Living, the NYS Care Management Coalition, The Supportive Housing Network of NY, and the NY Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services.

 

Jeremy Darman, MSW, MA

Deputy Commissioner for State and Local Operations

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Mr. Darman oversees the five OMH regional field offices, the OMH Community Outreach and Public Education Bureau, and the divisions responsible for civil and forensic State operations. Jeremy previously served as the Special Assistant to the Executive Deputy Commissioner, and the Director of Planning for OMH.

Prior to his service with the State, Jeremy held positions in policy analysis and governmental relations where he provided member technical assistance and worked closely with the State Legislature and Executive to promote organizational priorities. Jeremy also previously served as an adjunct instructor and research assistant at the State University of New York at Albany School of Social Welfare.

Jeremy holds Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degrees from the State University of New York at Albany.

 

Matthew Canuteson, MA

Chief Diversity Officer

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Leveraging his experience as someone in recovery from substance abuse and mental health concerns, Matt Canuteson's has dedicated his career to ensuring that the same gifts are available to all. Despite an early life that included experience with hospitalizations, homelessness, institutions and not finishing high school, Matt went on to graduate from SUNY Albany as a Spellman Achievement Awards winner (Political Science) and later earned his MA in Social and Public Policy from Empire State College.

After serving in direct care positions in the behavioral health field, Matt became the Policy Director at the New York Association for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. In this role Matt worked to ensure the voice of people with lived experience was heard and understood by New York's policy makers. Matt's career then included over a decade working at the national level contributing to or leading several Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)-funded projects related to criminal justice, equity, homelessness, access to public benefits and greater use of peer services. Understanding the service system was fraught with embedded racial inequities­ Matt worked to include health equity into all projects he was involved in. It was at this time that Matt was recognized as the 2014 SAMHSA Voice Award winner for Consumer Leadership.

Matt joined the Office of Mental Health in 2018, serving as the agency's first Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Coordinating all agency activities related to workforce diversity, inclusion, and the elimination of disparities in access, quality, and treatment outcomes for marginalized populations, most recently Matt has led agency efforts to operationalize agency goals to address bias and inequities grounded in racism specifically.

 

Anita Daniels, MS, RN-BC

Associate Commissioner, State Operated Children’s and Adult Services

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Ms. Daniels has more than 30 years of experience in inpatient psychiatric mental health, working the last 27 years for the Office of Mental Health. She has served as an Executive Director at serval OMH hospitals including Bronx Psychiatric Center and New York City Children's Center.

Most of her career in OMH has been at the Rockland campus in Orangeburg, NY, where she has held the positions of Executive Director at Rockland Children's Psychiatric Center, in addition to serving as the Deputy Director of Operations and Director of Nursing at Rockland Psychiatric Center.

In January 2019, Ms. Daniels was named Associate Commissioner for the OMH Division of State Operated Children's and Adult Services, which oversees 19 psychiatric centers. These centers provide both inpatient and community based services with a focus on providing quality care. Assuming the position early June 2019, Ms. Daniels has been responsible for managing and coordinating statewide efforts to deliver innovative high-quality, person-centered, recovery-oriented mental health services.

Ms. Daniels is a diploma graduate of the Albany Medical Center School of Nursing, received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and psychology from the State University of New Paltz, and received a Master of Science degree from Mercy College. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse and is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau Inter-national Honor Society. For three years, she served as an adjunct lecturer at Mercy College and in May 2006, received the Undergraduate Faculty of the Year Award.

 

Gerald M. Engel, RPH, MBA

Associate Commissioner and Chief Medical Informatics Officer

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The clinical application of technology is growing rapidly and is essential to the behavioral health system of the future. As Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO), Jerry is responsible for overseeing the expanded use of technology to advance clinical care within OMH and the larger public mental health system.

He is the executive sponsor and clinical business owner for all OMH clinical IT systems, including the Empire State VistA which is the largest VistA implementation outside of the Veterans Administration. In addition, he is leading efforts for the OMH Health Information exchange for all OMH hospitals and clinics across the state.

The CMIO also serves as the OMH liaison with the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) to ensure that technology resources are used most efficiently and effectively to meet the OMH mission.

Jerry has been with OMH since 2000 and has served in various positions including: Pharmacy Director of Capital District Psychiatric Center, OMH Director of Pharmacy Services, and prior to taking this position he was the OMH Director of Health Services. Jerry received his Pharmacy degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and his MBA from the State University of New York Empire State.

 

Joe Katagiri, DrPH, MPA, CPH

Associate Commissioner, Division of Managed Care

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Before being named as the Associate Commissioner of OMH’s Division of Managed Care, Katagiri served as OMH’s Deputy Division Director for Managed Care and Bureau Director of Finance and Data Analytics. Katagiri worked as the Team Leader for Long Term Care within the New York State Division of Budget. Prior to his tenure with DOB, he was a Health Program Administrator for the Department of Health, working on long term care Medicaid waiver programs.

Katagiri holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a Master’s in Public Administration from Rockefeller College, and Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from the University at Albany School of Public Health.

 

Sarah Kuriakose, PhD, BCBA-D

Associate Commissioner, Division of Integrated Community Services for Children and Families

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Dr. Kuriakose oversees services and supports in the children’s public health system at OMH. She previously was the State-wide Director of Psychology for OMH and the Senior Director for Autism and Developmental Neuroscience at NYU Langone Health.

She is a licensed psychologist and licensed behavior analyst, and her research and clinical specialization is in evidence-based behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions for individuals who are dually diagnosed with intellectually/developmental disabilities and psychiatric illness and with substance use disorder and psychiatric illness.

 

Li-Wen Lee, MD

Associate Commissioner, Division of Forensic Services

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Dr. Lee’s Division coordinates delivery of mental health services to individuals involved with New York State's criminal justice system. These services include restoration to fitness to stand trial, assessment and management of insanity accedes, assessment and treatment of sexual offenders under MHL Article 10, and correctional mental health treatment.

These services have grown into a system of care that includes three Joint Commission-accredited secure forensic psychiatric centers, one of which serves the prison population, two secure regional forensic units, a network of prison-based mental health satellite units and residential programs located within correctional facilities, and centers within DFS that deliver community-based training and technical assistance to enable local governmental units to better serve forensic mental health populations in the community.

Dr. Lee joined OMH in 2008. Prior to that, she provided acute inpatient psychiatric treatment on a forensic unit established for jail detainees in New York City. She served as the Medical Director for DFS for more than 10 years prior to becoming Associate Commissioner. She received her MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has also served as assistant clinical professor at Columbia University.

 

Amanda Saake, LMSW, CPRP, NYSPS-P (she/her)

Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Director of Office of Consumer Affairs

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In her role, Amanda serves as the interface between individuals and families served by the public mental health system and OMH program, and policymakers. Her office is also dedicated to the Peer Workforce and Peer Support Services throughout the mental health system.

Amanda has experience providing direct service and supervision in the human services workforce. Amanda’s commitment to high-quality, person-centered supports and services is also personal, stemming back to her first encounters with the mental health system at the age of 17.

Amanda is a member of the Certification Commission for Psychiatric Rehabilitation’s (CPRP) Board of Subject Matter Experts. Amanda received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater in 2011. In addition, Amanda received the Brendan Nugent Leadership Award in 2020. This award is presented to an inspiring peer leader in promoting and advocating for the empowerment of people with psychiatric disabilities in New York State.

Amanda graduated from Marywood University and Columbia University School of Social Work. Amanda is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, and a Provisional New York Certified Peer Specialist.

 

Christopher Smith, PhD

Associate Commissioner, Adult Community Care Group

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Dr. Smith is the state-wide program lead for Adult Services in community settings, including: Supportive Housing; Crisis Services; Outpatient services including Clinic, Assertive Community Treatment and CCBHC; and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services including PROS and CORE.

Previously, he was the Deputy Director of the Group and focused on statewide initiatives including COVID-related regulatory relief, telehealth implementation, and integrated care. He has served as Director of Adult Services in OMH’s New York City Field Office focusing on managed Medicaid implementation and systems transformation in the public behavioral health system in New York City.

Prior to coming to OMH, Smith was a clinical administrator at H+H - Bellevue, with responsibility for forensic, psychiatric emergency, and substance abuse services. He also spent a decade working on schizophrenia risk and prevention research at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in the Northwell Health system.