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DMH Director Names New Chief Clinical Officer

Thursday, December 19, 2002

(Washington, DC) Martha B. Knisley, director of the DC Department of Mental Health, today announced that Steven R. Steury, M.D. has been selected as the new DMH chief clinical officer, following a nationwide search. Dr. Steury, a Board-certified psychiatrist, is responsible for setting admissions criteria for St. Elizabeths Hospital patients receiving publicly funded mental health care and for setting up systems to monitor the care of persons committed to the Department by the courts.

"Dr. Steury is the Department's clinical leader," said Director Knisley. "He has the broad experience necessary to shape the policies and set the medical standards for a culturally-sensitive system of mental health care for children, youth, adults and their families. As a long-time resident, he already knows the mental health needs of District residents." DMH is charged with implementing the District's new community-based public mental health system.

Director Knisley said she is pleased that Dr. Steury has accepted the position on a permanent basis after having served in an acting capacity while the nationwide search was underway. "He played an integral role in recent efforts to establish a viable partnership with Children's National Medical Center, where we now refer children and their families for emergency mental health services. That's the kind of new direction and collaboration we are working to achieve and Dr. Steury has a good understanding of the diverse resources available to us both within and outside of the Department," she said. Dr. Steury also is introducing DC MAP (District of Columbia Medication Algorithm Project), a clinical best practice, as a means of increasing the availability of the new atypical anti-psychotic medications.

The Department's new arrangement with Children's Hospital is among the initial steps being taken to establish the new far-reaching system of care for children, youth and their families. Dr. Steury will oversee much of the medical services involved in the new approach, which seeks a higher level of coordination and linkage of services provided by DMH, private social and health care organizations, and the public and charter schools.

Dr. Steury, a veteran of the United States Navy, holds a medical degree from Tufts University and a Master of Science degree in health care management from Harvard University. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and has worked with the psychiatry department of Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His first position with District government was as medical director of St. Elizabeths Hospital, which for many years served as the hub for the delivery of mental health services in the District. In his new position, he will continue to have oversight of the clinical direction and management of medical services at St. Elizabeths; additionally, he will oversee the medical practices of community-based mental health service providers that are certified by the Department of Mental Health.