April 9, 2021
The NYS Council has had a long and productive relationship with Chris, Moira, Jeremy and Chris S. and we look forward to working with them in their new roles!
Dear OMH Providers, Stakeholders and Partner Organizations:
Hello all! I would first like to thank you once again for all you have done during this difficult year to keep our clients safe and healthy. Your dedication, caring and creativity has enabled our mental health system to remain strong and effective throughout this pandemic.
There are some transitions taking place at OMH that I am excited to share with you today.
Dr. Chris Tavella, Executive Deputy Commissioner for OMH will be leaving the Office of Mental Health after 29 years with the agency. Chris has been a tireless and compassionate leader during the COVID-19 crisis, and we will miss his wise and steadfast leadership. His vision and dedication for improving mental health care has impacted New Yorkers across the state. Please join me in congratulating him on all the accomplishments he has made on behalf of OMH. We wish him well on his next adventure!
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Moira Tashjian to Executive Deputy Commissioner for OMH. Moira has thirty years of experience serving at the local, regional, and state levels of the mental health system. She has held various positions at the Office of Mental Health, working as the Statewide AOT Coordinator, Director of Housing and most recently serving as the Associate Commissioner of Adult Community Services for the agency. Moira holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Marist College. Her wealth of experience in program and policy areas will be an asset for us all.
I am also pleased to announce that Jeremy Darman has been appointed as Deputy Commissioner for State and Local Operations. In this newly created role, Jeremy will oversee and support the OMH civil and forensic state-operated systems and our five regional field offices, helping synergize their common work in advancing recovery and resiliency for all New Yorkers. Jeremy joined the Office of Mental Health in 2013 and he has previously served as the Director of Planning and most recently, the Special Assistant to the Executive Deputy Commissioner. Jeremy holds a Master of Social Work degree, and a Master of Arts in criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany.
As Moira transitions into her new role, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Christopher Smith will become the Acting Director of the Adult Community Care Group. Dr. Smith has been at OMH for 8 years. He has been the Deputy Director of the Adult Community Care Group for the last 9 months, where he focused on statewide initiatives including COVID-related regulatory relief, Crisis System development, and Telemental Health implementation. Previously, he was the Director of Adult Services in OMH’s New York City Field Office. He also spent a decade working on Schizophrenia risk and prevention research at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in the Northwell system. Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York City.