MHA Taps Renowned Mental Health Experts to Join National Board of Directors | Mental Health America

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MHA Taps Renowned Mental Health Experts to Join National Board of Directors

Alexandria, Virginia – Mental Health America (MHA) is excited to announce two new additions to MHA’s Board of Directors: Luis Perez, LCSW and Bill Parson. Candidates nominated and chosen for the board will serve a three-year term that began June 2015, and are eligible to be elected for a second three-year term. 

“We are very excited to have two such accomplished individuals join our Board,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA. “We value diversity in our governing body, and these two men bring important perspectives to our work.”

Luis B. Perez, LCSW is the President and CEO of Mental Health Connecticut. He has held 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. He currently serves on numerous boards and committees including CT Nonprofits, Hartford Federal Credit Union, and Mental Health America. He is also Co-Chair of the Governor’s Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services. Luis received his Bachelor’s degree from Emerson College and his Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

“Luis Perez brings to us the experience of a CEO who runs one of our oldest, largest, and most successful affiliates in the nation,” continued Gionfriddo. “He has a deep understanding of behavioral health services and supports, and a strong focus on, and commitment to, recovery for all.  Under his leadership, Mental Health Connecticut’s profile has been elevated in the state and throughout the nation, and leaders of MHA’s other 200+ affiliates have frequently looked to him for guidance and support for their efforts.”

William Parsons has over 30 years of experience in mental health care and is currently at Acadia Healthcare as the CEO of its new behavioral health hospital currently under construction in Southeastern Massachusetts. Prior to Acadia, Parsons served as the chief administrator of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and associate executive director of Vanderbilt Behavioral Health since 2009. In that role, he led system-wide Psychiatric Services Steering Committee to develop a new strategic plan for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Services, including outpatient and partial services. He is also the founder of Ventures Healthcare, a management company responsible for providing psychiatric services to med/surgical hospitals and community mental health centers. He was administrator of Rivendell Psychiatric Hospital, part of Vendell Healthcare, Inc, an 80-bed psychiatric hospital serving adolescents, adults and geriatric patients in Panama City, Fla. He served as director of the not-for-profit Adult Outpatient Services of Mental Health Services Inc. in Gainesville, Fla., as well.

"Bill Parsons brings decades of experience in behavioral health, and has served in roles throughout his career that give him an important perspective on both treatment and recovery across generations,” said Gionfriddo. “He brings to MHA and our board strong leadership, and we look forward to working closely together in the months and years to come."


Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those who need it, with recovery as the goal.

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