Mental Health Association Names Terri White as Chief Executive Officer


The board of Mental Health Association Oklahoma announced that Terri White is the new Association CEO, effective in August. From 2007–2020, White served as the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS). 
White said of the announcement, “I am deeply honored and excited to join this incredible organization that has meant so much to so many Oklahomans. The work done here has saved countless lives throughout our state, and brought healing to hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma families.”
The CEO announcement comes at the end of a national search to find the best possible candidate to continue the organization’s work throughout the state and nationally as an advocacy leader. 
“The board could not be happier Terri will be the new CEO,” said Scott Hamilton, association board member and chair of the search committee. “She is the ideal person to continue the organization’s mission to promote mental health, prevent suicide, end homelessness and transform the criminal justice system.”
White will assume her new role at the end of August as the successor to longtime CEO Mike Brose, who previously announced his planned departure earlier this year leading to the commencement of the national search.
Michael Madsen, board of directors president, said, “The association has built an incredible legacy in the service of vulnerable Oklahomans. We believe that Terri is the perfect choice to build upon that legacy and achieve even more. She has brilliantly elevated the status of brain health in Oklahoma, and is one of the most respected national experts in prevention, treatment and recovery.”
White’s reputation is that of an innovator, recognized for both her passionate advocacy and ability to create lasting solutions to some of the state’s toughest problems. Her efforts have resulted in Oklahoma becoming a leader in children’s behavioral health services, criminal justice diversion initiatives, veterans’ services, community-based treatment programs for adults; the use of technology to advance treatment and recovery, the integration of behavioral health care into primary healthcare settings and more. 
White helped to create many of the policy changes that have improved access to care for vulnerable Oklahomans and was a leading figure in the state’s landmark opioid trial.
In 2011, White was inducted into the University of Oklahoma’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work Hall of Fame. In 2014, White received the “Kate Barnard Award” from the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, created to honor outstanding women who have made a difference in Oklahoma through public service.
In 2017, she was named “Compassionate Citizen of the Year” by the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled. Also in 2017, the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences awarded her its Distinguished Alumnus honor.
A native of Edmond, White received both her Master of Social Work and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma.