MHANYS is looking forward to working with Chris Tavella as he takes on the role of Executive Deputy Commissioner at OMH. Chris was a keynote speaker at our conference last year and showed his impressive knowledge of the mental health system. On a personal level, Chris is smart, professional and a pleasure to work with.

I had the honor of working for Martha Schaefer when I was at OMH. She was a wonderful mentor; intelligent, compassionate and always willing to provide support and share her vast knowledge of the mental health system. In my mind, she defined the word mentor. We will miss her and wish her luck in her new post OMH life.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Tavella, Ph.D. as the new Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health. He succeeds Martha Schaefer, who retired at the end of July.

Chris has most recently served as OMH’s Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Quality Management. He began his career with OMH as a psychologist with the Manhattan Psychiatric Center and served as the Director of Quality Management at the Middletown Psychiatric Center/Rockland Psychiatric Center, and as Director of Community Services and Inpatient Services at the Rockland Psychiatric Center, before becoming the Executive Director of the Rockland Psychiatric Center in 2010. He was given additional responsibility as the Executive Director of Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center in 2013.

Chris holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University, and his extensive executive-level and quality management experience will serve as a tremendous asset to OMH in his new role.

Please join us in wishing Chris well as he takes on his new responsibilities!

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