WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today we remember former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) with admiration for his long career in public service and with gratitude for his strong commitment to championing behavioral health issues in the United States.
Sen. Domenici—New Mexico's longest-serving U.S. senator—died Sept. 13 at an Albuquerque hospital following complications from an abdominal surgery procedure. He was 85.
Although many will remember Sen. Domenici best for his influence as chairman of the powerful Senate Budget Committee during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, we at the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS) will remember him especially for his tireless and unwavering support for his work with mental health parity in insurance coverage.
As former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) noted in The Washington Post, Sen. Domenici brought his fellow Republican colleagues to the mental health parity issue because of his passion. And without him, Dodd added, incorporating mental health parity in the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bill would not have happened.
Advocating for mental health issues was not only a legislative issue for Sen. Domenici. It was also a personal one, as one of his children had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
On behalf of the NAPHS membership and staff, we send our condolences to Sen. Domenici's wife, Nancy, and their children. We also send our promise to honor Sen. Domenici's life by continuing to advocate for clinically effective prevention, treatment and care for all those with mental and substance use disorders.
The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems advocates for behavioral health and represents provider systems that are committed to the delivery of responsive, accountable, and clinically effective prevention, treatment, and care for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with mental and substance use disorders. Its members are behavioral healthcare provider organizations that own or manage more than 800 specialty psychiatric hospitals, general hospital psychiatric and addiction treatment units and behavioral healthcare divisions, residential treatment facilities, youth services organizations, and extensive outpatient networks. The association was founded in 1933.
SOURCE National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS)