January 10, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is very pleased to announce its first Medical Director, Joseph Parks, M.D.
Dr. Parks, a practicing psychiatrist and state policymaker, has a track record of translating clinical experience in mental and substance use disorders into patient-centered policy recommendations and state of the science primary and behavioral health treatment programs. With the addition of Dr. Parks, the National Council expands its capacity to serve its members and the nearly 40 million Americans who experience a mental illness or an addiction each year.
“People with mental illness and substance use disorders deserve better access to high-quality treatment and services,” said Dr. Parks. “To achieve that, America needs better behavioral health care policy and better trained behavioral health care providers. I’m excited to join the National Council and lead implementation of care that is integrated, data-driven and accessible. I will be working closely with their members and staff to assure that the care provided for behavioral health conditions is medically sound and recovery oriented.”
“A Medical Director has been a long standing goal for the National Council,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council, “and Dr. Parks is a true double threat. As a practicing clinician and a respected policymaker, his well-rounded experience will speak volumes in Washington.”
In his home state of Missouri, Dr. Parks served both as Director of Missouri Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and Missouri Medicaid Director, leading development of the nation’s first approved Medicaid state plan amendment for health care homes for people with serious mental illness. He then expanded the concept to community mental health centers and federally qualified health centers.
He will continue to serve as a professor at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health and will maintain his clinical psychiatry practice on an outpatient basis at Family Health Center, a federally-funded community health center established to expand services to uninsured and underinsured patients in central Missouri.