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"According to the World Health Organization mental health is an essential component of overall health. I am excited to be part of the AMHCA Foundation because it provides a vital avenue to improve and strengthen our society and the quality of life of each individual." Gary G. Gintner, PhD Chair, AMHCA Foundation Board of Trustees
Spreading good mental health is at the very heart of our field. The AMHCA Foundation exists to actively support efforts to improve Americans' mental health. Through the leadership and direction of our Board of Trustees we are engaging the mental helth community through philanthropy efforts that support our mission.
Board of Trustees
Gary G. Gintner, PhD, LPC - CHAIR
Dr. Gary G. Gintner is an Associate Professor and Program Leader of the Counseling Program at Louisiana State University. He has published numerous articles on topics such as DSM-5, differential diagnosis, mood disorders, substance abuse and best practices for the treatment of psychiatric and substance use disorders. He is a nationally recognized trainer on the DSM-5 and best practice guidelines and has conducted training workshops for state mental health counseling chapters as well as for other professional associations.
Dr. Gintner is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board-Approved Supervisor in the state of Louisiana, with thirty years of clinical experience that includes inpatient care, substance abuse counseling, and outpatient mental health. Dr. Gintner is a Fellow of the American Counseling Association; was the 2007-2008 President of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA); and served as the Chair for AMHCA’s DSM-5 Task Force. Currently, he is a member of the Global Clinical Practice Network of the World Health Organization (WHO), and is involved in the field trials on ICD-11.
Tom Ferro, LPC - VICE CHAIR
Tom Ferro is a licensed clinical professional counselor. He started his career by becoming the first elementary counselor in the Billings, Montana school district. Mr. Ferro started and developed the K through 6 Elementary School Counseling Program and was part of a committee that developed and passed the legislation for the licensing of counselors In the State of Montana.
W. Mark Hamilton, Ph.D., TREASURER and FOUNDER of the AMHCA Foundation
Dr. Hamilton served for 15 years as Executive Director and CEO of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). He oversaw the launch of the association’s Annual Conference, doubling of its budget, expansion of its membership, and chartering of many state chapters across the nation. Prior to heading AMHCA, he was Associate Executive Director of the American Counseling Association, where he had also been Director for Publications and Communications during his 10-year tenure.
Before his association work, Dr. Hamilton was Vice-President of Chadwyck-Healey Inc., publisher of scholarly books and reference materials. Dr. Hamilton’s PhD is in International History, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and he also holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has served on several boards of directors, including the National Health Council and the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and he is currently Treasurer of the AMHCA Foundation Board of Trustees.
Joel E. Miller, Ex Officio and AMHCA Executive Director & CEO
Joel E. Miller, M.S. Ed., is the Executive Director and CHief Executive Officer of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He leads over 7,200 clinical mental health counselors who play a critically important impact on the lives of Americans with behavioral health conditions. AMHCA's mission is to enhance the mental health counseling profession through advocacy, professional development, education and licensing. Mr. Miller is responsible for all operations of the organization and implementing strategic initiatives in support of the Board of Directors
He is the publisher of AMHCA's Journal of Mental Health Counseling and its Advocate newsletter. He also serves as a member on the AMHCA Foundation Board of Directors.
In his previous position at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), he led the development and implementation of NASMHPD's policy agenda and regulatory strategies, which were designed to support State Behavioral Health Agencies and the state public behavioral health systems.
At the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mr. Miller led NAMI's State Policy team and Public Policy Institute, dedicated to improving the financing and delivery of mental health services at the state level for people with mental illness, and addressing mental health issues across the lifespan.
He has published over 50 articles and reports on behavioral health and health care delivery and financing, new delivery models aimed at integrting mental health and physical health, health care reform strategies, Medicare and Medicaid policy, health workforce issues, and information technology implementation.
Mr. Miller earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and his master's degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Frank Northam attended Yale University and studied law at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, graduating magna cum laude. He practiced law for forty years in Washington, D. C., specializing in the representation of tax-exempt organizations and litigation. Frank worked over 30 years at the law firm of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, one of the nation's premier law firms focused on tax-exempt organizations. For many years, Frank served as general counsel to AMHCA and the AMHCA Foundation handling all aspects of their legal affairs. Frank represented a wide variety of nonprofit organizations before the courts, the IRS and many other government agencies at both the state and federal level. Since his retirement in 2015, Frank has continued his interest in the nonprofit sector.
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