Conference Opening — Special Welcome, Latino Behavioral Health Equity
Conference Opening—Special Welcome, Latino Behavioral Health Equity
Sergio Aguilar Gaxiola, MD, PhD
Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
School of Medicine, University of California, Davis.
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD is Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. He is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) - Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), and over the last two decades, he has held several World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) advisory board and consulting appointments. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola’s applied research program has focused on identifying unmet mental health needs and associated risk and protective factors to better understand and meet population mental health needs and achieve equity in health and mental health disparities in underserved populations.
Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use
Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon is currently Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She previously served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and served in this role for six years. Prior positions held at DMHAS include Deputy Commissioner, Senior Policy Advisor and Director of the department’s Office of Multicultural Healthcare Equity. In her role as Commissioner, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon was committed to promoting recovery oriented, integrated, and culturally responsive services and systems that foster dignity, respect, and meaningful community inclusion.
Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon was an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University where she served on faculty for the past 20 years. While at Yale Dr. Delphin-Rittmon served as the Director of Cultural Competence and Research Consultation with the Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health.
In May 2014, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon completed a two-year White House appointment working as a Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While at SAMHSA, she worked on a range of policy initiatives addressing behavioral health equity, workforce development, and healthcare reform.
Through her 20 year career in the behavioral health field Dr. Delphin-Rittmon has extensive experience in the design, evaluation, and administration of mental health, substance use and prevention services and systems and has received several awards for advancing policy in these areas. Most recently, she received the 2019 State Service Award from the National Association of State Drug and Alcohol Directors and the 2016 Mental Health Award for Excellence from the United Nations Committee on Mental Health.
She received her B.A. in Social Science from Hofstra University in 1989, her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University 1992 and 2001, respectively, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical community psychology at Yale University in 2002.