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President's Commission on Mental Health Appointment of 20 Members to the Commission.

March 29, 1977

The President today announced the names of 20 members he will appoint to serve on the President's Commission on Mental Health.

The group met today with the First Lady, who is honorary chairperson of the Commission. The Commission will begin work on April 1, and will submit a preliminary report to the President by September 1.

Over 1,000 candidates for the Commission were screened by a small ad hoc committee chaired by John Gardner, chairman of Common Cause, and composed of the following members: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Human Rights Commissioner for New York City; Margaret Mahoney, vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J.; Brian O'Connell, executive director of the Mental Health Association; Joseph T. English, chief psychiatrist of St. Vincents Hospital, New York City; and Donald X. Freedman, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Chicago.

The screening committee submitted a small pool of names for final selection to President and Mrs. Carter.

Although Mrs. Carter is serving as honorary chairperson of the Commission, she will be actively involved in all aspects of the Commission's work.

The group of 20 people who will be appointed to the Commission includes 8 women, 12 men, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, and a former patient who serves on the National Patients Rights Committee of the Mental Health Association. They are:

PRISCILLA ALLEN, 47, is a former patient from San Francisco, who has been effectively involved in the passage of legislation to benefit the mentally ill in California. She serves on the National Patients Rights Committee of the Mental Health Association. She served on a panel at the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law on "The Role of Consumer in Mental Health Service Advocacy" in 1976, and is the author of an important article published in Psychiatry Quarterly called "Consumer's View of California Mental Health Care System."

ALAN BEIGEL, M.D., 37, a practicing psychiatrist, is director of the Southern Arizona Mental Health Center in Tucson, Ariz. The author of numerous articles on mental illness and its treatment, he consults both the American Psychiatric Association and the Mental Health Association. He is the past president of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers and has taught at Harvard, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

THOMAS E. BRYANT, M.D., J.D., 41, has been president of the Drug Abuse Council since 1971. Successively since 1965, he was in private medical practice in Atlanta, a medical consultant to the Job Corps, and Director of Health Affairs for the Office of Economic Opportunity. He has also served on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, the Committee on Health Care for the Poor of the American Medical Association, the Health Task Force of HEW, and was Chairman of the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Food and Medical Service. Bryant received both his medical and law degrees from Emory University, in Atlanta.

JOSE CABRANES, 37, is the legal adviser and director of government relations at Yale. He has served for 10 years on the board of Hudson Guild, a New York City settlement house active in community mental health programs, and on the board of directors of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He has been especially concerned with the problems of State and Federal regulation of hospital costs.

JOHN CONGER, 55, author of 10 books on child development, is professor of the division of clinical psychology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has also served as dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is acknowledged as an expert in adolescent health problems and as an effective policymaker in the mental health field.

THOMAS CONLAN, 65, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and of the Ohio chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism, is a trial lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also a member of the Ohio Board of Regents and general counsel and director of the Southern Bank, Cincinnati. He is one of Ohio's leading citizen-volunteers and experts on the subject of alcoholism. He has also served on numerous committees concerned with health education and health services.

VIRGINIA DAYTON, 43, an active citizen-volunteer, is the chairperson of the board of directors of the Bach Institute, in Minneapolis, Minn., which specializes in therapy, training, and research, based on the family systems theory. She is a member of the State Mental Health Advisory Council and of the board of directors of the United Way. Her chief interest has been in intermediate care systems and those services which help mental patients make the transition back to family and community.

LADONNA HARRIS, 46, longtime crusader for human rights, is founder and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, a national non-profit Indian organization now based in Albuquerque, N. Mex. An active member of the Comanche Tribe, she was voted as one of the eight outstanding women in the United States by the Ladies Home Journal in 1969. She has served on the boards of Common Cause, Urban Coalition, Urban League, Save the Children Federation, National Academy of Science, Mental Health Association, and the National Health Council.

BEVERLY LONG, in her early fifties, a leading volunteer in mental health policy-making in Georgia, is the chairperson of the Governor's Advisory Council on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse, in Georgia. She is a former president of the Mental Health Association of Georgia and is active in the national Mental Health Association. She holds masters degrees in public health and chemistry-zoology from the Universities of North Carolina and Georgia, respectively.

RUTH B. LOVE, in her early forties, an articulate spokesperson, lecturer, and writer on the subject of education, is the superintendent of schools in Oakland, Calif. She has particular concern for disadvantaged and minority youth and was former Director of the Right to Read effort in the U.S. Office of Education and former chief of the bureau of compensatory education program development of the California Department of Education. She was also a former project director for Crossroads Africa in Ghana.

FLORENCE MAHONEY, in her seventies, a nationally known advocate for the needs of the aging and the emotional problems involved, was instrumental in proposing and creating the National Institute on Aging of NIH. As a prominent citizen of Washington, D.C., she has devoted the past 35 years to championing the cause of high quality bio-medical research, child development research, and for improved delivery of health services. She has been cochairman of the National Committee Against Mental Illness since 1950.

MARTHA MITCHELL, 38, is associate director of nursing of the Connecticut Mental Health Center and assistant professor of psychiatric nursing of the Yale University School of Nursing. She is especially skillful with policy problems involving the role of nursing in mental health care delivery.

MILDRED MITCHELL-BATEMAN, M.D., 55, is a commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Mental Health and clinical professor, department of behavioral medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine. A clinical psychiatrist, she has given special attention to the health delivery problems of the underserved and has worked to develop new systems of reaching and serving people, beginning with mental health programs in the schools.

HAROLD RICHMAN, 40, an expert in social welfare policy, is dean of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. A former White House Fellow, Dr. Richman is concerned with improving public policy in mental health. He is a member of the Committee on Child and Family Policy of the National Academy of Science.

JULIUS B. RICHMOND, M.D., 61, a pediatrician and educator, is the director of the Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston. He co-designed the concept of the Neighborhood Health Center for the Office of Economic Opportunity in the mid-1960's, and founded the Head Start program. He is also professor of child psychiatry and human development at the Harvard Medical School, professor and chairman, department of preventive and social medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and psychiatrist-in-chief of the Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston.

REYMUNDO RODRIGUEZ, 32, a health educator and urban planner, is executive assistant for the Hogs Foundation for Mental Health, University of Texas, Austin. He was formerly regional planner and coordinator of criminal justice for the Middle Rio Grande Development Council in a nine-county area in Texas. He has also worked as a traveling elementary school teacher with migrant workers, and is a consultant to the Texas Commission on Alcoholism.

GEORGE TARJAN, M.D., 65, is the director of the mental retardation and child psychiatry division of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and professor of psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine. As the head of the country's major research and teaching center on mental retardation and childhood disabilities, he has extraordinary knowledge of delivery systems and an understanding of state bureaucracies and agencies.

FRANKLIN E. VILAS, JR., S.T.M., 42, is an Episcopal minister who is known for his pastoral counseling programs in the northeast. He is now rector of the Diocesan Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, N.Y. He was formerly the pastoral officer and director of special programs in health and mental services at Trinity Parish, New York City, and was the founder of the Family Life Institute in Beverly Farms, Mass.

GLEN WATTS, 56, a labor leader, is president of the Communications Workers of America, a member of the executive council of the AFL-CIO, and is vice chairman of the board of governors and chairman of the executive committee of the United Way of America, the latter being the largest private funder of community mental health services.

CHARLES V. WILLIE, 49, is professor of education and urban studies at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. A former research sociologist with the New York State Mental Health Commission, he has written on community mental health problems and is active in the development of black colleges as institutions in our society. He is a member of the technical advisory board of the Maurice Falk Medical Fund and a consultant to the Center for Minority Mental Health Programs of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Jimmy Carter, President's Commission on Mental Health Appointment of 20 Members to the Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243452

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