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BC Graduate School of Social Work Professor
Named to Mass. Health Commission Board

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (11-16-12)—Graduate School of Social Work Associate Professor of Macro Practice Marylou Sudders has been appointed to the Massachusetts Health Commission Board, which will monitor the reform of Massachusetts health care delivery in an effort to reduce costs and improve quality.

Marylou Sudders
Marylou Sudders

The board, which will hold its first meeting today in the Massachusetts State House Gardner Auditorium, was created by the health care cost-containment law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in August. Earlier this month, Patrick appointed Stuart Altman, an economist at the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management, as chair of the board, whose members — selected by Patrick, Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Auditor Suzanne Bump — represent a broad range of expertise in the health care industry.

“It is an honor, and an awesome responsibility, to represent behavioral health and Boston College on this independent health policy commission,” said Sudders, who chairs the GSSW Health and Mental Health Concentration.

“Health care spending is often debated and rarely tackled. This commission has the unique opportunity to focus on value and quality rather than volume and quantity. Mental health and substance abuse has often been marginalized by mainstream health care.  As the behavioral health appointee, it is my responsibility that our work improves access and availability of behavioral health at the same time we curb overall health care spending.” 

Sudders served as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health for seven years, her term marked by the successful passage of mental health parity insurance and civil commitment reform and establishment of a children’s mental health commission, among other accomplishments. She then became president and CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a private non-profit advocating for the rights and well-being of children and their families.

A graduate of Boston University, where she also earned her master’s degree in social work, Sudders has been honored by the National Association of Social Workers for her work on mental health policy and by the NASW Massachusetts chapter as Social Worker of the Year.

—Sean Smith is editor of the Boston College Chronicle;