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2013 Health / Health and Human Services Department

Pamela Hyde, Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

July 16, 2013

After Hyde's 2009 appointment as administrator of SAMHSA, she decided to focus the department on prevention. "That's not always been the highest priority [for the agency], but it has been for us," Hyde said. "We know a lot more about the science" to preempt suicides, prescription-drug abuse, and underage drinking. Prevention also guides other initiatives, such as addressing child trauma and working with military families. To achieve these goals, Hyde worked to bolster the electronic availability of substance-abuse treatment records, which are constrained by law from wide distribution. A native of Sante Fe, N.M., Hyde, 62, has worked for 35 years on mental-health, substance-abuse, and housing issues "at almost every governmental level there is," she says. Most recently, from 2003 to 2009, she was secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department under then-Gov. Bill Richardson, where she oversaw the state's health care reform effort. Hyde received her B.A. from Missouri State University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, before serving as Seattle's Housing and Human Services director, Ohio's mental-health director, and president of Arizona's Maricopa County Community Partnership for Behavioral Health Care. She also spent time in the private sector, working as a health care and affordable-housing policy consultant from 1996 to 2003.

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