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Ronald W. Manderscheid, PhD

  • Professor - Adjunct

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

660 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, District of Columbia 20001


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Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. The Association represents county and local authorities in Washington, D.C., and provides a national program of technical assistance and support. Concurrently, he is Executive Director of the National Association for Rural Mental Health, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, and Adjunct Professor, School of Social Work, University of Southern California. Dr. Manderscheid serves on the boards of the Cosmos Club, the Employee Assistance Research Foundation, the Danya Institute, the Council on Quality and Leadership, the NASMHPD Research Institute, and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the Coalition for Whole Health. Previously, he served as the Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Programs at the Global Health Sector of SRA International and in several federal leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout his career, he has emphasized and promoted peer and family concerns.

Dr. Manderscheid is a former Member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Healthy People 2020, Past President of the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association (FEIAA) Foundation, Past President of FEIAA, past Chair of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Mental Health Section and a past member of the APHA Governing Council. He has also served previously as the Chairperson of the Sociological Practice Section of the American Sociological Association, as President of the Washington Academy of Sciences and the District of Columbia Sociological Society, and as President of ACMHA: The College for Behavioral Health Leadership.

Recently, he co-edited a new text, Outcome Measurement in the Human Services: Cross-Cutting Issues and Methods in the Era of Health Reform, and contributed to a second new text, Public Mental Health. Previously, he served as principal editor for eight editions of Mental Health, United States. He has also authored numerous scientific and professional publications on services to persons with mental illness and substance use conditions. He serves on the Editorial Board and prepares a periodic blog for Behavioral Healthcare Executive.

Honors and Awards

Recent Awards:

Dr. Manderscheid is a regular keynote speaker at industry functions and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the fields of mental health and substance abuse including:

ADAMHA Administrator's Award for Meritorious Achievement, 1987

Certificate of Appreciation, Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association, 1990

SAMHSA Administrator's Award for Meritorious Achievement, 1993

Society for Education and Research in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Service to

Psychiatric Nursing Award, l994

Society for Applied Sociology National Sociological Practice Award, l995

Galt Scholar, State of Virginia, l995

SAMHSA Administrator's Award for Meritorious Achievement, l995

SAMHSA Administrator's Award for Meritorious Achievement (Group Award to Branch), l995

1st Annual Going to Bat Award, National Association for Rural Mental Health, l996

Friends of Case Management Award, National Association of Case Management, l996

Quality of Worklife SAMHSA Partnership Award, 1997

SAMHSA Outstanding Teamwork Award, 1997

Loras College Distinguished Alumni Award for Contributions to Public Service, 1998

Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award, 1999

American Public Health Association, Mental Health Section Award, 2000

Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program Leadership Award, 2001

American Public Health Association, Mental Health Section Chairperson’s Achievement Award, 2001

American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Irving Blumberg Award at the United Nations, 2002

American College of Mental Health Administration, Saul Feldman Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003

Consumer Empowerment Award, Mental Health Section, American Public Health Association, 2003

HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, 2000; 2004; 2005 (Two Awards); 2006

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Career Tribute, 2006

National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare, Excellence in Public Service Award, 2006

American College of Mental Health Administration, Distinguished Service Award, 2006

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health’s Distinguished Service Award, 2008

Southern Regional Conference on Mental Health Statistics 50th Anniversary Award, 2008

Knee-Witman Lifetime Achievement Award in Health and Mental Health Policy, 2009

DC Sociological Society, Stuart A. Rice Award for Career Achievement, 2011

NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Gold Standard Award for Outstanding Leadership in Healthcare Reform, 2011

Elected Fellow, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, 2012

New York Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services, The Public Policy Leadership Award, 2014

American Public Health Association, Mental Health Section, Carl A. Taube Award for Lifetime Contributions to Mental Health, 2014

Victor I. Howery Award for Lifetime Contributions to Rural Mental Health , National Association for Rural Mental Health, 2016

Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquis Who’s Who, 2017

Mental Health Section Award (with David Shern and Margaret Walkover), Amer Pub Hlth Assn, 2018

  • mental health
  • substance use
  • serious mental illness
  • serious emotional disturbance
  • mental health epidemiology
  • mental health service statistics
  • mental health services research
  • preparedness
  • avian flu
  • returning veterans
  • Institute of Medicine
  • President's New Freedom Commission
  • NIMH
  • Center for Mental Health Services
  • mental health evaluation
  • National Health Reform (Clinton and Obama)

Most recent publications:

  • Manderscheid, R.W. 2018 Blogs published in Behavioral Healthcare Executive: To Your Full Happiness, Health and Heart , December 19, 2018 Insurance coverage for adults with behavioral health conditions still a work in progress, December 3, 2018 Surgeon general pushes for community partnerships and collaborations to address opioid crisis, November 14, 2018 Reflections on important changes in behavioral healthcare, November 12, 2018 Conference tackles industry's human resources challenges, October 31, 2018 Respond to the surgeon general’s call to action on community, health and prosperity, October 19, 2018 Behavioral healthcare workforce takes center stage, October 5, 2018 5 essential healthcare policy questions for candidates, September 17, 2018 NARMH conference calls attention to behavioral healthcare availability in rural areas, August 27, 2018 Next steps on the depression-opioid problem, August 13, 2018 Single-payer and single-measure – but not single-price – a winning combo, July 27, 2018 Celebrating a decade of the Parity Act, July 9, 2018 Transform our shock into action, June 12, 2018 Taking on our workforce crisis, June 7, 2018 Is treating depression the answer to solving the opioid crisis?, May 23, 2018 Addressing the crisis in older adult mental health, May 17, 2018 Restore our core values in election '18, May 11, 2018 Community: Problem source and solution beneficiary, April 26, 2018 The rural conundrum turns critical, April 13, 2018 Address the emerging SMI and opioid crisis, April 2, 2018 Heal the gulf between our two Americas, March 15, 2018 The White House opioid summit provides optimism , March 2, 2018 Call to national action to respond to the Parkland tragedy, February 23, 2018 Urgent actions needed on the opioid quandary, February 22, 2018 Fostering a full life for seniors, February 9, 2018 Debunk caricatures of behavioral healthcare, January 26, 2018 Incorporating community into our model of well-being and illness, January 11, 2018
  • Beck, AJ, Manderscheid, RW, and Buerhaus, P., Editors 2018 “The Behavioral Health Workforce: Planning, Practice, and Preparation”, Special Supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Supplement is available at: 3797(18)X0003-8.
  • Douglas, M, Wrenn, G, Bent-Weber, S, Tonti, L, Carneal. G, Keeton, T, Grillo, J, Rachel, S, Lloyd, D, Byrd, E, Miller, BF, Lang, A, Manderscheid, R, Parks, J. 2018 “Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes; A technical Report.” Washington, DC: The Kennedy Forum.
  • Bommersbach, T, Borger, K, Steverman, S, Manderscheid, RW, Sharfstein, J, Everett, A. 2018 “Behavioral health, local health department accreditation, and public health 3.0: Leveraging opportunities for Collaboration.” American Journal of Public Health 108 (10), October 2018: 1334-1340. (With a commentary by former US Assistant Secretary for Health, KB DeSalvo and YC Wang.)
  • Magidson, JF, Lee, JS, Johnson, K, Burnhams, W, Koch, JR, Manderscheid, R 2018 “Openness to adopting evidence-based practice in public substance use treatment in South Africa using task shifting: Caseload size Matters.” Substance Abuse 39 (2), October: 162-166.