David L. Shern, Ph.D.

David L. Shern, Ph.D.

With more than 30 years of distinguished service in mental health services research and system reform, Dr. David Shern is one of the nation’s leading mental health experts. In September of 2012 he stepped down after six years as President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA), formerly the National Mental Health Association, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit advocacy organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. Prior to joining MHA, Dr. Shern served as professor and dean of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, one of the largest research and training institutes in behavioral health services in the United States. He also founded and directed the National Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health – a National Institute of Mental Health-funded services research center – located in the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).

His work has spanned a variety of mental health services research topics including epidemiological studies of the need for community services; the effects of differing organizational, financing and service delivery strategies on continuity of care and client outcome, and the use of alternative service delivery strategies such as peer counseling and self help on the outcomes of care. He has authored more than 100 publications including papers in Health Affairs, Psychiatric Services, Medical Care, Health Services Research, American Journal of Psychiatry and the American Journal of Public Health. In 2006, Shern received the Carl Taube award from the American Public Health Association in recognition of his career contributions to mental health services research.

In 2000, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Dr. Shern to the Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. He was elected Chair of the Commission by his fellow Commissioners and spearheaded an effort to develop a new statewide focus on and governance model for behavioral health across all human service agencies and settings.

Dr. Shern received his Bachelor of Science, Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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