Obama names Coderre senior adviser in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

Obama names Coderre senior adviser in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

PAWTUCKET - President Barack Obama has named Tom Coderre, a former Pawtucket senator who serves as chief of staff to Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, as a senior adviser to the administrator at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In this new role, Coderre will work on a variety of policy issues for SAMHSA and the administrator, including substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery programs and policy. He will interact with and help represent SAMHSA with offices and operating divisions like the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration. He will also give input on issues like the National Drug Control Strategy and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Coderre, whose political career was damaged due to a previous cocaine addiction, has been active in addiction recovery groups both locally and nationally. He served as the board chairman for Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES) and he is the former National Field Director of Faces & Voices of Recovery in Washington, D.C. He has an extensive background in government and served in the Rhode Island Senate from 1995 to 2003. He is a graduate of Rhode Island College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to serve my country and to do something I’m extremely passionate about," said Coderre in a statement. "I consider it a tremendous honor to work with people who are committed to helping those struggling with addiction and mental illness find and sustain their recovery for the long-term, as I have been able to do. I look forward to working on President Obama’s and SAMHSA’s agenda and helping to craft effective public policy to deal with these serious public health issues.”

Paiva Weed says she has come to rely on Coderre to assist her in the day-to-day operations of the Senate and she is "sad to see him go."

"However, I have no doubt that he is the right person for this important public policy position with the Obama administration," she said. "Tom’s varied skill set as well as his life experience makes him perfectly suited. I have been so impressed by his ability to work collaboratively with many different parties inside and outside the Senate and know he will bring those talents with him to Washington. I’m extremely proud of his recovery and the work he did as our chief of staff.”

SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Established in 1992, the agency was directed by Congress to target substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research more effectively and more rapidly into the general health care system.


CONGRATULATIONS, Tom! ~ What a noble cause ... and outstanding appointment .. Blessings to you and much extensive success!!

Jack Lancellotta

Is Tom full of wisdom= experience and knowledge being a sober alcoholic and clean addict? Or will he be bringing all that book knowledge, only, to the table? Hmmm?

Credit for his stopping his cocaine abuse.