Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will receive this year’s Joan and Stanford Alexander Award in Psychiatry.

The award was established in honor of Dr. Stuart Yudofsky, distinguished emeritus professor of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, who also was its first recipient. Joan and Stanford Alexander are pioneer advocates for providing parity in the reimbursement for psychiatric care for the mentally ill and working to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Each year, the award honors a mental health professional who has made significant contributions in research, education and clinical or community service for people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. The award consists of an annual prize and lecture of international scope.

McCance-Katz will receive the award and present a lecture on Wednesday, April 18, at 10:30 a.m. in Baylor College of Medicine’s Cullen Auditorium. Her lecture is titled “Informing Federal Healthcare Policy: The Role of Psychiatry.”

With more than 25 years of experience as a clinician, teacher and researcher, McCance-Katz is a national leader in addressing the opioid overuse crisis. She has published extensively on clinical pharmacology, medication development for substance use disorders, drug-drug interactions, addiction psychiatry and treatment of HIV infection in drug users. She served on the World Health Organization committee that developed guidelines on the treatment of drug users living with HIV/AIDS. McCance- Katz helped to develop the initial guidance to physicians addressing opioid use disorder in their patients and the required physician training for prescribing buprenorphine products. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

Complimentary to this year’s Alexander Award, Baylor and the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston will be jointly presenting the Opioid and Substance Abuse Symposium. The symposium aims to support the important work of the Texas House Select Committee on opioids and substance abuse by bringing together experts on opioids and substance abuse from across Texas and the nation to assess the nature of this problem and suggest possible solutions. Get more information about the symposium.