Who: Tyler Norris, 57
New role: CEO of the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, an independent initiative founded this year by Providence St. Joseph Health with an initial investment of $100 million to improve mental, social and spiritual health in the U.S.
Background: Norris has served as VP of total health partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, partnering with local systems to advance community health. He previously spent 20 years implementing population health initiatives in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Expanding access: The institute aims to expand access to mental healthcare and support by eliminating the stigma around anxiety, depression and substance abuse, while ensuring resources are easy to find. “As a whole, we really have not fully addressed the full access issue … and we're seeing it in so many conditions, from suicide rates to bullying to opioid abuse,” Norris said.
Chronic disease: By addressing mental health, we can begin to tackle chronic disease, Norris said. Progress in reducing obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease is limited because “many of the behaviors—poor eating, physical inactivity, tobacco use and moderate use of alcohol—are ways people are self-medicating to address their anxiety, depression and stress in their lives.”