I’m happy to announce that Laura Nelson, M.D. will be taking on some additional responsibilities in her expanded role as the ADHS’ Chief Medical Officer.  She will continue in her role as the Deputy Director for Behavioral Health Services as well (notice the “Acting” label is gone now).  As is the case with many of you over the last year, she’s willing to take on these additional responsibilities without asking for a salary increase.

The role of Chief Medical Officer was previously handled by a Medical Committee which hasn’t been operational for some time.  I decided we needed to have a medical chief for a few reasons, including our new requirements in the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the recent adoption of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform).

She’ll be contacting all of the MDs in the Department soon to begin work on developing and implementing the Department’s medical policy and goals including public health prevention, public health preparedness, vital records and statistics, behavioral health, special health care needs for children, licensing, clinical laboratory, and state hospital care.