OREANDA-NEWS. September 30, 2016. Patrick A. Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, was recently appointed to the California board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Im honored by this opportunity to serve, and excited to help inform and strengthen the future of mental health care, said Dr. Courneya. Kaiser Permanente and NAMI share deep commitment when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. Our organizations are working to improve the quality of life, and reduce the stigma, of individuals and families who have been affected by mental illness.

NAMI, a nonprofit membership organization, is the nations largest grassroots mental health group dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI also supports hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.

We are excited to have Pat on our board, said Jessica Cruz, NAMI California executive director. We are grateful to have someone like Pat, whose warm heart and thoughtful approach will help move our mission forward. We are also honored to partner with a respected health care organization like Kaiser Permanente, an organization that can help us learn from one another in order to best support the needs of those facing mental health issues.

Since joining Kaiser Permanente in 2014, Dr. Courneya has been responsible for the organizations national quality agenda. He has led Kaiser Permanentes efforts to ensure its members and communities receive the best quality and service. Previously, Dr. Courneya served 10 years as medical director and associate medical director for HealthPartners Health Plan in Minnesota.

Dr. Courneyas term as NAMI California Board member runs through 2019. He is one of 11 members of the board, including Board President Guy Qvistgaard, the hospital administrator at John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro, Calif., and Board Treasurer Kenton Rainey, BARTs chief of Police. Over the next several years, NAMI California is expected to provide guidance on several key issues, including housing, criminal justice, outreach and access, and mental health parity.

Having the opportunity to work with such an influential, passionate advocacy group like NAMI is exciting, said Dr. Courneya, who officially joined the NAMI Board in August and will attend his first meeting in October. I look forward to this relationship and working with NAMI to improve and redefine how we support patients and families on their journey to mental health and wellness.