Second Vice Chair
President and CEO, Community Health Resources
Heather M. Gates, MBA, is the president and CEO of Community Health Resources (CHR), the most comprehensive nonprofit behavioral health care organization in Connecticut. CHR is Connecticut’s first Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Under her direction, CHR has remained true to its core vision of providing expert mental health and addiction services to people of all ages and has expanded its scope to also provide primary care, supportive housing, therapeutic foster care and a range of other critical services. Prior to coming to Connecticut, Gates worked in the Western Massachusetts community service system in a variety of capacities since 1976. Her first role was as a legal advocate representing individuals’ rights as well as participating in the oversight of the implementation of the Brewster V. Dukakis Consent Decree. Gates went on to become the executive director of a small, supported housing program in Holyoke and later worked for the Department of Mental Health as the director of managed care for the Holyoke/Chicopee area. In all these positions, Gates provided leadership for system change and reforms. Gates is a member of the Medicaid Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council and served on the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. She currently is tri-chair of the public policy committee for the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance and was a member of the Practice Transformation Task Force for the Connecticut SIM. Gates has been a member of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing since 2018. She was a member of the Expert Panel on Mass Violence, which issued a report in 2019. She is currently a member of the membership committee and vice chair of the nominating committee. Gates received her BA from Hampshire College and her MBA from the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management.