Investing in Mental Health to Support Our Workforce

Chatrane Birbal, MPA, is vice president, government relations at HR Policy Association. In this capacity Ms. Birbal is responsible for leading the Association’s government relations strategy, building relationships with individuals in Congress, administration and regulatory agencies that oversee matters related to large employers and their workforces, including benefits, diversity and inclusion, labor, safety, immigration, and compensation policy. Ms. Birbal brings nearly 20 years of high-level experience working in government affairs at the federal level. Most recently, she was the vice president, public policy for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). In this role, she was directly engaged in many of the policy issues that impact the workplace and represented SHRM’s membership of over 300,000 individual HR and business executive members. Prior to SHRM, Ms. Birbal was the director of government relations at the Council on Foundations, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $282 billion. Ms. Birbal was also a federal legislative lobbyist at the American Psychiatric Association, a medical specialty society with over 38,000 U.S. and international member physicians who work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including mental illness and substance-related disorders. Chatrane obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. and received her graduate degree of public administration and public policy from George Mason University. Ms. Birbal currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Government Relations (WGR) – the premier, non-partisan professional society dedicated to advancing and empowering women by fostering professional development and growth opportunities through a community that supports women’s leadership in government relations. She is a member of the Tax Coalition, which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among professionals in federal tax policymaking to encourage the professional development of women in federal tax policy and Birbal also serves as a Director-at-large on George Mason University’s Alumni Board.

Contact: cbirbal@hrpolicy.org

Jonah C. Cunningham, MPP, is a Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) government relations manager focusing on behavioral health issues and ways to reduce mortality from substance misuse and suicide. Prior to joining TFAH, he worked for over six years on the staff of Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA). In his most recent position, as Senior Policy Advisor, Jonah helped to reestablish the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and created a Suicide Prevention Task Force within the Caucus. He also developed legislation to improve the nation’s behavioral health system through expanded services and investments in the workforce. He has received several awards for his commitment to mental health promotion. Jonah has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and earned a master’s degree in public policy from The George Washington University. He is an avid Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.

Contact: jcunningham@tfah.org

Kana Enomoto is a senior expert at McKinsey & Company and specializes in behavioral health, public health, and delivery-system reform. She has more than 20 years of experience as a federal executive in mental-health and substance-use policy, data, programs, and practice improvement. Kana is an adaptive leader with a strong record of achieving public-policy goals, delivering programmatic impact, and inspiring organizational and social change. Examples of Kana’s recent client work include the following: Serving as content director on a study to expand the state’s behavioral-health services to children in the Medicaid program; acting as content director for a study partnering with a large, national advocacy organization to raise awareness about opioid-use disorders and reduce stigma associated with the condition; and advising a major payer developing a new corporate vision, including a transformational approach to meeting the behavioral health needs of its members. Prior to joining McKinsey, Kana was a senior advisor and acting chief of staff to the Surgeon General of the United States. In this capacity, she provided strategic guidance to the Surgeon General’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Previously, she was acting administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Appointed in 2015 by former Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, she provided executive direction and policy leadership for an agency with more than 600 employees and a fiscal year budget of over $4 billion. Prior to entering government, Kana did health research and clinical services with a focus on minority mental health and trauma. She has received awards in recognition of her work, including the Arthur S. Flemming Award, the American College of Mental Health Administration King Davis Award, and the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Contact: kana_enomoto@mckinsey.com

Beth McGinty is an associate professor and the associate chair for Research and Practice in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At Johns Hopkins, she serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research and the Associate Director of the ALACRITY Center for Health and Longevity in Mental Illness.

Contact: bmcginty@jhu.edu


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