Pamela Hyde Stepping Down as Administrator of SAMHSA

By John Lavitt 08/19/15

Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto will step into an interim role at the end of the month.

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At the beginning of August, Pamela Hyde announced she would be stepping down as administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) after nearly six years in the post.

Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto will step in to serve as acting administrator by the end of the month. Since being appointed by President Barack Obama and joining SAMHSA in November of 2009, Hyde has led agency through a proactive period of positive work on both the mental health and substance abuse fronts.

“Pam’s commitment to her work at SAMHSA is remarkable,” said Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell. “She has spent her career as a mental health policy expert and advocate and delivered impact for the American people. I am thankful to have served alongside her at the Department.” 

Hyde spearheaded the Department’s work surrounding President Obama’s Now Is the Time initiative. The goal of the initiative is to increase individuals’ access to mental health services across the country. Hyde also was an integral part of the administration’s response to the growing epidemic of opioid and prescription drug use and abuse that has plagued the country. She led federal efforts to expand access to life-saving overdose reversal medication, as well as medication-assisted treatment for those with opioid addiction.

As an attorney with a background in agency management, Hyde came to SAMHSA with more than 35 years of experience in consulting for public health care and human services agencies. She had served as a state mental health director, state human services director, city housing and human services director.

Prior to SAMHSA, Pamela Hyde served as the cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department under Gov. Bill Richardson.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.