Barbara Leadholm Appointed Mental Health Commissioner

Another solid appointment to the Health and Human Services team was announced today: Barbara Leadholm as the new Commissioner of Mental Health. Here’s the announcement:

Ms. Leadholm has a broad and thorough understanding of the mental health system and consumers’ diverse needs. Her clinical knowledge and leadership skills will enable DMH to set an ambitious agenda focused on providing quality services; improving access; and empowering consumers and their families.

Leadholm has more than 30 years of experience in behavioral health, including six years at DMH in the 1990s. From 1993-96, she served as Metro South Area Director and was responsible for strategic planning, operations and administration. Ms. Leadholm also served as Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Planning (1990-93). In addition, she served in a number of leadership capacities at what was previously called the Department of Welfare, including Director of Chronic and Specialty Hospitals; Director of CommonHealth and Special Populations; and Provider Manager for Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Most recently, Ms. Leadholm has been a Vice President at Magellan Health Services. During her 10 years with the company, she has worked in public sector business development and overseen operations for a number of large health plans and their contracts for behavioral health services. Most recently, Ms. Leadholm developed the “carve-in” product that integrates health plans and public sector programs to serve people in need.

Ms. Leadholm began her career as a psychiatric nurse clinician. She earned her Master of Science in Psychiatric Nursing from Boston College and her Master of Business Administration from Boston University. Barbara Leadholm will begin her new role in the first half of September. Until that time, current Chief of Staff Patricia Mackin will serve as Interim Commissioner for DMH.

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