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June Ask The Expert Renata J. Henry, M.Ed.

Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Disabilities, at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 


As Deputy Secretary, Ms. Henry provides executive direction to three program administrations - Mental Hygiene, Developmental Disabilities, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  This position is newly created with the intention of bringing these three administrations together to better coordinate services for populations with co-occurring disorders.

Ms. Henry has over thirty years of experience in the behavioral health field, serving in various clinical and administrative positions in community-based mental health and substance abuse organizations, as well as in state and county government.  Prior to becoming the Deputy Secretary, she was the director of Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, an operating division of Delaware Health and Social Service, where she was responsible for the administrative direction and oversight of public sector behavioral health services for adults in Delaware.  During her tenure as director, she has emphasized the collaboration between systems to ensure that policy and practice are aligned to support a quality behavioral health system across the life span. 

Ms. Henry strongly believes that principled and visionary leadership at all levels is critical to moving the behavioral health field into the 21st century.  Ms. Henry has provided leadership at a national level in various capacities.  From 2002-2006, she served a four-year term on the National Advisory Mental Health Council for the National Institutes of Health.  From 2005-2007, she was the president of the board of directors of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, where her agenda focused on the development of NASMHPD partnerships with other national organizations to support mental health and substance abuse system transformation.

Ms. Henry has participated on numerous committees, expert panels, and task forces, which have advised the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on behavioral health policy, practice, financing, and cultural competence issues.  She has also presented at various conferences, policy academies, and professional meetings.

Ms. Henry holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in education from Antioch University.  She is the mother of two wonderful daughters and says they are her greatest achievement.

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