Trump taps RI psychiatrist to lead health agency she criticized

FILE - In this April 5, 2009 file photo, the Department of Health and Human Services building is seen in Washington. Really? The Supreme Court's big health care decision means 30 million or more uninsured Americans are soon going to have coverage? It's far from that simple. The ruling points a way forward for millions who can’t get affordable coverage because they’ve been sick, self-employed or otherwise shut out of insurance plans that most Americans get in the workplace. But the path is clouded for millions more: the people on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder who are expected to be reached by a major expansion of Medicaid. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s pick to lead a federal mental health agency is a former Obama administration psychiatrist who publicly criticized its approach.

Trump is nominating Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz as the Department of Health and Human Services’ assistant secretary for mental health and substance use. McCance-Katz was the mental health division’s first chief medical officer from 2013 to 2015. In 2016, she wrote an essay accusing the division of being hostile to using psychiatric medicine for treating people with serious illnesses.

McCance-Katz is now chief medical officer for Rhode Island’s behavioral health department. She’s known for her work on opioid addiction.

McCance-Katz wrote in November for conservative magazine The National Review, calling Trump’s election “an exciting turn of events for people afflicted with mental illness.”