Nominated as: HHS' first assistant secretary for mental health and substance abuse. In the role, she will oversee the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The post was created via passage of the 21st Century Cures Act last November.
Background: McCance-Katz is chief medical officer for Rhode Island's Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. She was the chief medical director of SAMHSA from 2013 to 2015.
Controversy: SAMHSA was highly critical of the 21st Century Cures Act when McCance-Katz was at the agency. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), a chief author of the mental health reform bill, lambasted McCance-Katz's nomination by President Donald Trump because of her work with SAMHSA.
Helping the most vulnerable: After McCance-Katz left SAMHSA, she wrote a commentary in Psychiatric Times that criticized the federal government's approach to treating patients with serious mental illness. "SAMHSA does not address the treatment needs of the most vulnerable in our society," she wrote.