Board of Directors | Mental Health America

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Board of Directors

Mental Health America (MHA) is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of mental health and business professionals, affiliate leaders, people with lived experience, and advocates for our mission. Meeting quarterly, the Board directs the strategic objectives and policy of the organization. Get to know our national Board of Directors below. 


Chair of the Board

Tom Starling, Ed.D.
Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee


Peter Carson
Managing Director, Public Affairs, North America
Weber Shandwick
Washington, D.C.

Immediate Past Chair

Reginald Williams
Senior Vice President
Avalere Health
Washington, D.C.


Jennifer L. Bright, MPA
President and Founder
Momentum Health Strategies


Laura Bay
Chair, Public Policy Committee
Immediate Past President
National PTA
Washington State

John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA
System Executive for Mental Health Services
Sutter Solano Medical Center & Sutter Center for Psychiatry

Bonnie Cook
Chair, Affiliate Relations Committee
Executive Director
Mental Health America of Greater Dallas

Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA
Chair, Marketing and Development Committee
LacyDee Consulting & Elevate Young Professionals

Daniel B. Eisenstein, JD
Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee
Retired Judge

Aimee Falchuk, MPH, M. ED, CCEP
Founder & Private Practice Clinician 
The Falchuk Group 

Dwight Hollier, LPC, NCC
Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Health, Well-Being and Program Outreach
UNC Chapel Hill
North Carolina

Amy L. Kennedy
Education Director
The Kennedy Forum
New Jersey

Tim Livengood, MSL
Chair, Awareness, Engagement, and Education Committee
Resource Coordinator
Acadia Healthcare
North Carolina

Stephen McCaffrey, JD
Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee
Mental Health America of Indiana

Fatima Mncube-Barnes, Ed.D, MPH, MSIS, MBA
Executive Director
Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library
Washington, D.C.

Marie Morilus-Black
Chief Executive Officer
MBI Health Services, LLC.
New York

Luis B. Perez, LCSW
President and CEO
Mental Health Connecticut, Inc.

Dr. Russ Petrella
President and CEO
Beacon Health Options

Danielle Schlosser, Ph.D
Lead Clinical Scientist
Verily Life Sciences

Chris Wood
New York

Tom Starling

Tom Starling, Ed.D is currently on the board of directors of Rolling Hills Hospital, a UHS psychiatric hospital. In Franklin, TN. He has also served six years on the state board of Community Health Charities of Tennessee, where he was the Board Treasurer for one term. He has served three years as the statewide public policy chair for the Alzheimer's Association of Tennessee, and he served two years as the statewide public policy chair for the United Ways of Tennessee. Dr. Starling has experience in leading nonprofit mergers, as he led efforts to consolidate four chapters of the Alzheimer's Association into a large, multi-state chapter that could leverage its assets. He recently relocated an MHA affiliate to a collaborative office complex where they share amenities with eight like minded nonprofits. He has experience in turning around financially distressed nonprofit organizations. Dr. Starling has served as the Education Director for the TN nursing home trade association, he has served as an administrator at Tennessee's largest retirement community, and he has taught at undergraduate and graduate institutions.

Peter Carson

Peter Carson leads the Public Affairs Practice in North America for Weber Shandwick, bringing with him more than a decade of experience on Capitol Hill and in political campaigns, as well as more than 17 years in strategic communications.

Peter’s work with clients includes: corporate reputation and recovery; crisis communications; third party advocacy; federal and state coalition building; and, CEO visibility. He also has extensive experience with integrated marketing, advertising and communications teams on behalf of companies as well as trade associations and coalitions.

His career began in 1988 with former Representative Christopher Shays (R-CT). Over the course of his career with the congressman he served as Legislative Assistant, Legislative Director, and for the last five years, Chief of Staff.

Peter received a BA in English from Kenyon College.

Reggie Williams

Reginald Williams provides clients with research, analytic, and project management support on evidence-based medicine and healthcare quality improvement issues. Prior to joining Avalere Health, Reginald was a member of the health policy team at the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). At NASI, he was responsible for research and policy analysis related to the long-term future of the Medicare program. Reginald also served as Howard R. Swearer Public Service Intern in the Rhode Island Department of Health's Office of Minority Health.

Reginald holds an A.B. in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University.


Jennifer L. Bright, MPA, is a business strategy consultant with over twenty years of accomplishment in healthcare policy, issue management, patient advocacy and executive leadership. As President of Momentum Health Strategies, Ms. Bright amplifies client efforts to change policy and practice related to high-impact issues, including integrated behavioral and primary healthcare, patient engagement, quality improvement, and infection prevention.

Prior to starting her business, Ms. Bright was Executive Director of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), a non-profit medical society representing physicians, nurses and researchers. Under her leadership, the organization advanced scientific and public policy action on antimicrobial stewardship, vaccination and healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention. Her experience also includes leading policy initiatives and coalition development at the state and local level for the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America), and providing state public policy issue analysis and management for corporate clients at several government relations consulting firms.

She currently serves on the National Quality Forum Patient- and Family-Centered Care Committee.

Ms. Bright earned her degree in political science from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. and her Masters in Public Administration from The George Washington University, concentrating on policy analysis and program management.

She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and three children, where enjoys volunteering as a tutor, serving as a city election official, and rowing competitively with the Alexandria Community Rowing club.

Laura Bay

Laura Bay is the immediate past president of National PTA, a nonprofit association dedicated to making a difference for the education, health, safety and well-being of every child. In her role as the president of National PTA, she focused on whole child initiatives and expanding the PTA’s platform to deliver more relevant programs to local schools. Ms. Bay serves as a coordinator for assessment and instruction for the Bremerton School District in Bremerton, Washington. Ms. Bay is the mother of three adopted children and lives in Poulsbo, Washington.

John Boyd

John Boyd, Psy.D, MHA, is Sutter Health’s CEO for Mental Health Services. John has an extensive background in healthcare administration including mental health. John has been appointed a commissioner by Governor Jerry Brown for the State of California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and currently serves as Vice Chair. John currently serves on the board of Mental Health America and the Steinberg Institute. He established and chairs the National Behavioral Health Council with over 40 health system participants. Dr. Boyd has served in other appointed capacities including City of Sacramento Planning Commissioner. He earned his MHA at University of Southern California and his doctorate in psychology at CSPP and completed his APA accredited pre-doctoral internship at University of California Davis Children’s Hospital CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center- working primarily with children in foster care who have suffered severe abuse and neglect.

Prior to joining Sutter in 2008, he served as Assistant Administrator, for Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center. Prior to that, he worked eight years for Shriners Hospitals for Children, both domestically and internationally. During his tenure he served in both local and system-wide capacities. Additionally, he has worked as both an inpatient and outpatient therapist in several organizations throughout his career.

John is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Bonnie Cook,is the Executive Director of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas. Bonnie received her master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Fairleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey. Upon completing her degree, she moved to Kentucky where she was the Executive Director of Mental Health America of Kentucky and the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association. Her passion for mental health drives her energy towards fulfilling MHA’s mission of leading the community in improving mental health through advocacy and education. She has an undying devotion towards raising awareness and eradicating the stigma surrounding mental health. In her free time, Bonnie enjoys quilting, and Texas Rangers baseball.

Lacy Dicharry

Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA, is an internationally known expert in youth engagement. Her expertise spans beyond the application of lived-experience to systems transformation to include child welfare, mental health, adoption, leadership, social marketing, organizational behavior, consumer engagement, program evaluation, and workforce development. Lacy was a 2014 VOICE award recipient for her work in mental health advocacy, is an established international speaker, consultant, author, and a Director on the Boards of national and international organizations. She was appointed to the CMHS National Advisory Council in 2012 by Secretary Sibelius, interned for Senator John Kerry, and has testified in State and Federal Congressional hearings about the needs of young people in transition.

Lacy is a trauma survivor, person in recovery, and an alumni of the foster care and mental health systems.

Daniel Eisenstein

Daniel B. Eisenstein, JD, retired as a Judge in Nashville, Tennessee in 2014. He presently is designated as a Senior Judge and serves as a Judge as needed. During his tenor as an elected Judge from 2004 until 2014, Eisenstein was the Presiding Judge for the Davidson County, Tennessee Mental Health Court. Prior to his election as Judge, Eisenstein practiced law in Nashville, Tennessee after he graduated from Memphis State University Law School in 1977. He also has a B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania (1970) and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University (1972). Eisenstein has membership in the Nashville Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Judges Assocition. He has participated and served as President on the Boards of numerous nonprofit agencies, including those involved in mental health work. He is a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Association and a past participant in the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court. Eisenstein has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Tennessee NAMI. He was recognized for his volunteer work by the Nashville Jewish Service, receiving the "Chesed Award."

Eisenstein has been married to his wife Jill since 1971 and has two married adult daughters and three grandchildren.

Aimee Falchuk

Aimee Falchuk, MPH, M. ED, CCEP holds a B.A. in Women's Studies from Barnard College, a Master's in Public Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Master's in Education in Counseling and Psychology from Cambridge College Graduate School of Counseling and Psychology and Practitioner Certification in Core Energetics from the Institute of Core Energetics, NYC. Aimee has a private practice and is a faculty member at the Institute of Core Energetics. Aimee is the founder of The Falchuk Group, a personal and corporate consulting platform that uses cognitive strategies, body-oriented approaches and a variety of expressive techniques as a path to aliveness and consciousness. Aimee facilitates workshops and lectures around the country. Aimee is also a contributing writer for the wellness magazine Goop. 

Dwight Hollier


Dwight Hollier, LPC, NCC, is a National Board Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with adolescents, families, and adults around a variety of clinical and non-clinical issues. Dwight is currently the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Health, Well-Being and Program Outreach at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Dwight’s mission and goal is assisting current and former NFL players in achieving Optimal Wellness. During his time at the NFL Dwight has worked to enhance awareness and education around important psycho-social issues and has been a champion of reducing the stigma surrounding the help seeking behavior of athletes. Prior to joining the NFL Dwight worked with athletes and other individuals at Mind Over Body at Southeast Psych a private practice in Charlotte committed to assisting individuals achieve success in all areas of their lives.

Mr. Hollier developed his passion for assisting individuals reach their maximum potential through his experience as an elite athlete. He went on to obtain a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Davie Florida, where he worked on and completed his Masters Degree and Practicum work in Mental Health Counseling while playing football for the Miami Dolphins. In total he played professional football for 9 years including a stint with the Indianapolis Colts.

Amy Kennedy

Amy L. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Science in Environmental Education from Nova Southeastern University. As part of her training, Amy has also obtained certification as a highly qualified instructor in the subjects of Science, English and History. She is an educator at heart, with over 15 years of experience working in public schools in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Amy is a New Jersey native who has always had an interest in local politics. As a resident of Atlantic County, she currently serves on the Academic Advisory Board for Holy Spirit High School. She also served as a board member of the Northfield Education Foundation, and was the Northfield representative for the National Education Association’s Pride Committee. Amy is also the mother of four children. She utilizes her experiences as a parent and her background in education to promote the importance of social and emotional learning in the development of mental wellness for children and adolescents. On a global level, her research interests include focusing on the early identification and intervention of mental health concerns in children and adolescents, the use of brain fitness and mindfulness within school systems in order to foster and improve mental wellness, and to develop prevention programs that utilize and promote student social and emotional learning. She is currently the Education Director for The Kennedy Forum in which she provides consultation services that emphasize evidence-based research and programming to facilitate policy change in the areas of education and mental health.

Amy and her husband, former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, are dedicated to educating others on the importance of providing not only every American with universal access to mental health supports and services, but our fellow citizens around the globe as well.


Timothy Livengood is an accomplished health care marketer and a previous healthcare administrator. He currently serves as Resource Coordinator for Acadia Healthcare. After beginning a successful career in real estate, Timothy realized his passion for mental health and healthcare administration. He then transitioned from the real estate industry to a career in behavioral health. Timothy currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of Eastern Carolina and on the Board of Directors for the national organization, Mental Health America, in Washington DC. Timothy’s work with community outreach and business development has brought him to work with the National Association of Mental Illness, Mental Health America, various national businesses, and non-profit agencies throughout the Southeast. He graduated from Catawba College with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and a Master’s in Leadership from Pfeiffer University. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration from East Carolina University. Timothy has a passion to make a difference in people’s lives. Often getting weird looks for thinking outside the box and assimilating make-shift “armies” to get things done, Timothy is on a mission to help people realize their full potential, and help others connect with people to make things happen.

Steve McCaffrey

Stephen McCaffrey, JD is the President and CEO of Mental Health America of Indiana and Principal with The Third House, LLC. Stephen is a recipient of a Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest honorary award. He serves as the Chair of the Indiana Division of Mental Health Advisory Committee and Chair of the Treatment Committee for the Attorney General’s Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse. He also serves as a member of the state team for Indiana Evidence Based Decision Making as well as the Board of Directors of Managed Health Services. Further, Stephen serves on the board of the National Institute for Public Safety Health.

Fatima Mncube-Barnes

Fatima Mncube-Barnes, Ed.D, MPH, MSIS, MBA is the executive director of the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library at Howard University. Dr. Mncube-Barnes is responsible for the management and administration of the library and all other Health Sciences Library services, with a special focus on academic programs and related requirements of the health sciences.

Prior to the appointment of her current position, Dr. Mncube-Barnes served as the associate vice president, Instructional Technologies, at Meharry Medical College in Nashville as well as assistant professor in graduate and research studies, library director and bioinformatician.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University in 1998, Dr. Mncube-Barnes completed an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation and Education at Harvard University in 2000. She holds an MPH in Public Health & Public Health Informatics from the University of Illinois and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Tennessee State University. In addition, she has an MSIS in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, and an MBA in Healthcare Management from the Western Governors University (WGU).

Dr. Mncube-Barnes has authored and collaborated extensively on peer-reviewed publications, and frequently serves as a conference and workshop presenter on health-care research methodologies and technology. She is an expert in instructional design, knowledge management and technology integration.

Marie Morilus-Black

Marie Morilus-Black has an impressive array of clinical, administrative, leadership, and human services skills gained over more than two plus decades in the mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice arenas. She was recently the Deputy Director of the Office of Well-Being at the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Administration (CFSA). She has served on the National Advisory Board of SAMHSA’s Adolescent Division, and the Council of Collaboration and Coordination (the CCC).

Luis Perez

Luis B. Perez, LCSW is the President and CEO of Mental Health Connecticut. He has a proven track record in leadership positions, both in the private and public sectors, with particular expertise in the areas of behavioral health outcomes based management, strategic planning, network development, and public policy. Broad background includes age specific clinical and cultural competencies for working with child, adolescent and adult populations and their families.

Dr. Russ Petrella, President and CEO of Beacon Health Options, is a clinical psychologist with more than 40 years of experience as a clinician, state official, and health care executive. Early in his career, Dr. Petrella practiced at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor, MI, which led to his appointment as the Director of Forensic Services, and later as the Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In those roles, he worked on a variety of initiatives to foster rehabilitation and recovery and to enhance community-based care. Dr. Petrella most recently served as Executive Vice President for EmblemHealth and Chief Executive Officer for Advantage Care Physicians, one of the largest population health-focused multi-specialty physician practices in New York City. Prior to that, he held national roles as President of Magellan Behavioral Health and President of Community & State (Medicaid) for United HealthCare. Dr. Petrella holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in clinical psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Syracuse University. He has been a fellow and president of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology and a board member and president of the American Board of Forensic Psychology.

Danielle Schlosser

As a Lead Clinical Scientist for the Mental Health team at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), Danielle Schlosser's work is focused on developing a next generation measurement-based care platform that will enable a holistic and personalized approach to mental health treatment. Prior to joining Verily, Danielle was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF and the Director of an NIMH-funded translational neuroscience lab. Her research focused on investigating cognitive and psychological determinants of motivation, and translating findings into new digital therapeutics to treat individuals with schizophrenia and depression. Danielle's work culminated in the development of PRIME: a mobile platform designed to target the motivational system and enhance the drive to improve one's quality of life and health outcomes. The benefits of PRIME have been tested in several clinical trials and continue to be evaluated in academic and health system settings.

Danielle holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology, with advanced training in cognitive neuroscience, early detection and intervention of psychosis, and digital health research.

Danielle Schlosser

Chris Wood is an actor, writer, and activist. Chris received his bachelor degree from Elon University in North Carolina before beginning his professional career in stage and film. In 2017, Chris founded IDONTMIND, a mental health awareness campaign working to defeat the stigma surrounding mental illness by encouraging candid conversations and generating positive messaging around mental health. By saying ‘IDONTMIND talking about my mental health’ or ‘IDONTMIND supporting my friends when they need help’, IDONTMIND works to help break down the barrier of stigma and bring hope to those who are struggling and afraid to speak up.

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