Steinberg Institute announces nonprofit spin-off, first board of directors

The Steinberg Team

Marking a key milestone in its evolution, the Steinberg Institute has successfully spun off as a 501(c)(3), with a powerhouse board of directors.

After more than two years of formation and development, buoyed by the crucial support of Tides Center, the Steinberg Institute is striking out on its own as a 501(c)(3). This is an exciting move for us, underscoring both our early successes as a unique mental health public policy institute in California, and our vision for continued growth and impact.

As we spin off as a standalone nonprofit, we also are delighted to announce the influential leadership group that will make up our first Board of Directors. We will look to our board members for support and guidance as we work to expand our mission. They are:

Darrell SteinbergDarrell Steinberg, J.D., Chairman: During three decades in elected office, Darrell has served as president pro tempore of the state Senate, a member of the state Assembly, and a member of the Sacramento City Council. He is currently mayor of Sacramento. Darrell authored the landmark 2004 Mental Health Services Act, which generates about $2 billion a year for treatment and care. He also was instrumental in passage of “No Place Like Home” a 2016 initiative that leverages MHSA funding to provide $2 billion for construction of permanent supportive housing for homeless people living with mental illness. He founded the Steinberg Institute in 2015 to advance the cause of mental health care in California.

Thomas Insel, M.D., Secretary: Tom is a renowned neuroscientist and psychiatrist who is co-founder and president of Mindstrong, a Silicon Valley health care startup dedicated to developing new technologies to advance the diagnoses and treatment of mental illness. From 2002-2015, Tom served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health. In that role, he also served as chair of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, and as co-lead of the NIH BRAIN Initiative.

Tina Thomas, J.D., Treasurer: Over a 30-year career, Tina Thomas has built a reputation as a leading environmental and land-use attorney in California. She is founding partner of the Thomas Law Group, and before that, was a founding partner of Remy, Thomas, Moose & Manley, LLP. Tina also has donated significant time and resources to championing the legal rights of nonprofit agencies that care for the homeless and disenfranchised. Among the organizations that have benefited from her counsel: Loaves & Fishes; Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services; Serna Village; and Union Gospel Mission.

John Boyd, Psy.D., MHA, Board Member: John is chief executive officer of Mental Health Services for the Sutter Health system, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit networks of community-based providers, with services in more than 100 Northern California communities. He has an extensive background in health care administration and mental health services. Prior to joining Sutter in 2008, he served as assistant administrator for Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center, and worked eight years at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Steve Fields, MPA, Board Member: Steve is executive director of Progress Foundation, which has played a pioneering role in modeling residential alternatives to hospitalization for people living with disabling mental illness. Over a 40-year career, Steve has championed development of mental health programs that emphasize rehabilitation and self-sufficiency through supportive, community-based services. Progress Foundation now oversees 19 programs across San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa Counties, serving more than 3,000 people.

We move forward into our future with a dedicated team of professionals, led by Executive Director Maggie Merritt, who has spent years as a leader and advocate for nonprofit organizations focused on health care, violence prevention, social justice and civil rights. Rounding out our team are Government Affairs Director Adrienne Shilton; Communications Director Deborah Anderluh; and Executive Office Manager Jessica Bradley. Anna Hasselblad, who has been with the institute since June 2015 as legislative director and then special projects manager, is using the timing of the spin-off to explore new opportunities. We thank her for her lasting contributions, and wish her the best in her future endeavors.

For more information, contact Maggie Merritt, .

The Steinberg Institute is dedicated to advancing sound public policy and inspiring leadership on issues of mental health. For more information, visit our website at

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