Over the years, I have sent out thousands of updates but it is not often I get personal, but this is one of those times.
For over the last dozen years, the person that has been a leader in running many of the day to day operations of the agency is our Deputy Director, Melissa Ramirez. There is little arrogance about her—she doesn’t care who gets the credit—all she wants is to get the job done and to make the lives of individuals with mental health issues and their loved ones better through quality supports, trainings and advocacy. She is incredibly smart, dedicated and works countless hours to make the agency forward thinking and professional. We are lucky at MHANYS to have a great team that is dedicated and smart and Melissa is an integral member of that team.Making a list like this just validates her efforts and those of our entire team, our board and our affiliates including another individual on the list, our colleague and friend, Kim Williams who runs Vibrant Emotional Health, an affiliate of the MHA. We are also pleased that Melissa has been selected to become a member of the OMH Multicultural Advisory Committee.
Glenn Liebman & Melissa Ramirez
CEO; Deputy Director, Mental Health Association in New York State
Glenn Liebman & Melissa Ramirez / Josh Crystal; Timothy H. Raab
Glenn Liebman and Melissa Ramirez are prominent advocates for mental health support, pushing for increased funding to behavioral health providers and other measures expanding access to care. The Mental Health Association in New York State has been active in pushing for legislative changes in
Albany. Over the past year, the organization has pushed for a law ensuring that settlement money from opioid lawsuits be set aside for addiction services and a bill that would merge the state Office of Mental Health and state Office of Addiction Services and Supports.
Kimberly A. Williams
President and CEO, Vibrant Emotional Health
Kimberly A. Williams / Vibrant Emotional Health
Since first joining Vibrant Emotional Health as an intern in 2003, Kimberly Williams has come to lead its work providing mental health support that reaches more than 2.5 million people annually. As president and CEO, Williams oversees major programs including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and NYC Well, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s mental health hotline. She also lends her expertise to various advisory bodies such as the New York State Health Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging.