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NCCP’s Cooper Named to New York State Mental Health Services Council

New York City, April 2, 2010 - Janice L. Cooper, PhD, interim director of the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) part of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, has been confirmed by the New York State Senate to serve a two-year term on its Mental Health Services Council. The Council sets goals and objectives for serving people with mental illness, and advises the state health commissioner on ways to improve mental health services, among other duties.

“We are delighted that the State has appointed Dr. Cooper to serve on this important and influential position,” says Linda Fried, MD, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health. “This is an appropriate recognition of the caliber of Dr. Cooper’s work in health and mental health for children and families, and a testament to the quality of research that is ongoing at the Mailman School in this critical field of study.”

In early 2009 Dr. Fried appointed Dr. Cooper to serve as interim director of NCCP while a search is conducted for a permanent director for the organization. NCCP is a research and policy analysis think tank focusing on American children and families in poverty.

Dr. Cooper’s background as a health services researcher specializing in children’s mental health, makes her a good fit for the Council. Her research has focused on quality of care for children and youth with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cultural and linguistic competence and mental health financing. She is the principal investigator of the “Unclaimed Children Revisited” series of publications, which includes “The Status of Children’s Mental Health in the United States 25 Years Later” (2008), a national study of child mental health policy in the United States; the “California Case Study” (2010); and “Focusing on Outcomes: A Case Study of the Michigan Level of Functioning Project” (2010). Dr. Cooper, who earned her PhD in health policy from Harvard University, also teaches a graduate course in Child Health Policy at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Cooper’s prior positions include: associate, Abt Associates; director, Children’s Mental Health Division State of Minnesota; director, New York State Coalition for School-Based Primary Care; and coordinator, AIDS and Family Life Education, Christian Health Association of Liberia. She is a director-at-large of the American Orthopsychiatry Association, and a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee of the New York State Office of Mental Health. She is also a former board member of the American College of Mental Health Administration.

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The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) is the nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health and well-being of America’s low-income families and children. Part of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, NCCP uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation.