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Danna Mauch, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Danna Mauch, PhD is President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH).

Dr. Mauch brings organizational leadership, operations management, evaluation research and strategic consulting experience gained in private and public sector enterprises to inform her public policy, knowledge dissemination and legislative advocacy work for MAMH.

Dr. Mauch’s prior service in the private sector includes ten years as Senior Fellow/Principal Associate at Abt Associates, Inc.  She worked on behalf of foundations and governments and provided policy, evaluation and implementation assistance addressing insurance, service delivery and financing reforms targeted to individuals with complex health risks and disabling health conditions. Skilled in linking large data sets to advance accountability, clinical and cost improvements, Dr. Mauch contributed to designing system solutions for government clients’ compliance with legal and regulatory reforms. Prior to joining Abt, Dr. Mauch was Chief Administrative Officer for Comprehensive NeuroScience, Inc., Founding President and Chief Executive Officer for Magellan Public Solutions, Inc., and Founder and President of Integrated Health Strategies, Inc.

Dr. Mauch has a long career in public service. She presently serves as Court Monitor for the U.S. District Court of Western Washington, addressing forensic services reforms at the junction of the health, disability and justice systems. Her prior service includes Special Master for the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia; Executive Director of the Rhode Island Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals; and Assistant Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, overseeing the Divisions of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Forensic Medicine.

Her population-focused work addresses a broad range of at-risk and vulnerable groups of children, adults and elders, including persons with autism spectrum disorders, behavioral health conditions, HIV/AIDS, multiple chronic conditions, criminal justice involvement, military and veteran status, and homelessness.

Dr. Mauch is a published author of government and foundation reports, book chapters and journal articles on the organization, financing and delivery of care to vulnerable populations. To support health promotion, illness prevention and early intervention, she has served as a volunteer officer of several governing boards, including a regional health care conversion foundation, a national youth development and prevention organization, an urban elementary and middle school, and state health care reform initiatives.

Dr. Mauch holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

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Louise Povall, MHSM

Director of Finance and Administration

Louise serves on a consulting basis as a strategic advisor to MAMH assisting with strategic plan development, financial planning, state and federal policy analysis, and grant development. 

Louise is a 30-year health care executive and strategic advisor, specializing in government-funded health care plans and programs, including Medicaid, Medicare and dual-eligibles.

Prior to consulting, Louise served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for 20 years. She held both the CFO and COO posts at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and at the Massachusetts Medicaid agency.

From 2013 to 2015, she served as Vice President for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island where she led the launch of the state’s single financial alignment demonstration for dual-eligibles, serving more than 15,000 people. This included both a Managed Long-Term Care Plan and a Medicare Medicaid Plan.

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Jessica Larochelle, SM

Director of Public Policy and Government Relations

Jessica Larochelle directs policy and advocacy activities, working in collaboration with a range of stakeholders on executive, judicial and legislative branch initiatives at MAMH. She brings to this role deep experience in policy analysis, program development, advocacy and implementation. Her prior work in health care reform and knowledge dissemination, combined with her longstanding commitment to vulnerable children, families and adults with health, disability and economic challenges prepares her well to implement the MAMH policy and legislative agenda.

Prior to joining MAMH, Jessica served as the Director of Evaluation and Strategic Initiatives at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation, where she led evaluation efforts to assess the effectiveness and impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking investments.

Jessica also worked as Field Director for Families USA, a national nonprofit consumer health advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. There she worked with advocates from across the nation on Medicaid defense, as well as Affordable Care Act implementation and public education. Prior to her time at Families USA, Jessica served as Executive Director of Consumer Health Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to expanding access to quality, affordable health care in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jessica holds a master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

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Jenifer Urff

Director of Knowledge Dissemination and Technical Assistance

Jenifer Urff leads MAMH's outreach and education activities, including the dissemination of research findings and evidence-based practices related to mental health, substance use, and prevention. She works across stakeholder communities to build consensus on behavioral health policy and program development. Jenifer has more than 20 years of experience managing federal and state contracts to deliver technical assistance, training, and creative products to support people living with mental health issues and promote resilience. 

Prior to joining MAMH, Jenifer led state technical assistance activities at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). From 2014-2017, she was Director of Recovery for the MA Department of Mental Health’s Western Area, where she managed contracts for the peer-led Recovery Learning Community and Afiya, one of fewer than 20 peer-run respite programs in the country, and established and led a Task Force on Trauma-Informed Approaches. From 2003-2014, Jenifer was Deputy Director of Mental Health at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). From 1999-2003, she served as Director of Government Relations and then Senior Policy Counsel at NASMHPD. Jenifer is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and the University of Michigan Law School.

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Elise Ressa, MSW

Behavioral Health Policy Analyst

Elise Ressa is a behavioral health policy analyst at MAMH. In her role, Elise is working closely with the Children’s Mental Health Campaign (CMHC) on the pediatric behavioral health urgent care research project. She brings to this role extensive experience and a passion for advocacy on behalf of children. 

Prior to joining MAMH, Elise served as Project Coordinator for the Children’s Hospital Integrated Care Organization (CHICO), acting as a liaison between Tufts Health Public Plans and CHICO to support the development of new care delivery infrastructure. Elise also worked as a Macro Social Work Intern in the Office of Government Relations at Boston Children’s Hospital where she was a part of the Children’s Mental Health Campaign.

Elise is committed to children’s behavioral health policy and advocacy and is excited to re-join the CMHC in this new role. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the Boston College School of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.

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Robert Fleischner, JD

Senior Consultant

Robert Fleischner is the former Assistant Director at the Center for Public Representation and has been practicing mental disability law since 1973. He is a national expert on Protection and Advocacy (P&A) access, advance directives and guardianship. Robert has served on the faculty of the Western New England Law School and Smith College School of Social Work.  He is the co-author of Guardianship and Conservatorship in Massachusetts, published by Lexis, and has written several law review articles. A Boston College Law School graduate, Robert has litigated community integration, civil commitment, prison mental health, juvenile justice, guardianship and fair housing cases.

MAMH Board of Directors

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