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Alexandria, VA – Mental Health America (MHA) conducted its Annual Delegate Assembly earlier this month and voted in six new national board members. MHA is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of mental health and business professionals, affiliate leaders, people with lived experience, and advocates for its mission. Board members meet quarterly to direct the strategic objectives and policies of the organization.

Below are brief biographies of the six new members.

Steven Chan, M.D.

Chan is a clinical informaticist and addiction psychiatrist, clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and chair of the Committee on Innovation at the American Psychiatric Association.

Chan’s research encompasses telepsychiatry and digital mental health, applied to underserved and minority health. He is a sought-after national speaker and serves as chief technology officer and cofounder of AsyncHealth – a University of California-backed mental health startup. Chan also writes and podcasts at Mental Power Hacks, a consumer guide to mental performance, productivity, and success.

Merrill Friedman

Friedman leads inclusive policy and advocacy for Elevance Health, where she works collaboratively to ensure the diversity of individual and personal experiences inform health benefits and health care programs.

Previously, Friedman was interim director at a nonprofit foster care agency and served as president and CEO of a private organization that owned and operated residential treatment facilities, group homes, and home and community-based services in several states for adolescents with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has served on numerous national boards and commissions, including an appointment by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Madhuri Jha, MPH, LCSW

Jha is the vice president of science, equity, and integration at ETR, a clinical social work and public health professional, and a practicing psychotherapist.

Her work includes experience in inpatient, outpatient, school-based, community-based, and mobile psychiatric treatment settings. Jha previously was the director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, focusing on advancing equity in policies and services that reach people living with or at risk for adverse behavioral health outcomes. She has also served as a professor of mental health policy at New York University and has lectured at many U.S. universities.

Mahmoud Khedr

Khedr is the founder and CEO of Flora, a mental health tech company building accessible and equitable solutions addressing the youth mental health crisis, which he founded after his lived experience with depression, anxiety, and survivor of multiple suicide attempts. He is also a former member of the Mental Health America Young Leaders Council.

Khedr has received numerous fellowships, awards, and recognitions, including from the Biden-Harris Administration, President Bill Clinton, and Gen. Colin Powell. He was recently awarded as a Forbes Next 1000 honoree and invited to the White House as an MTV Youth Action Forum youth mental health leader.

Olivia Lubarsky

Lubarsky is pursuing her juris doctorate at American University Washington College of Law, where she serves as the deputy director of mental health for the Student Bar Association.

Lubarsky is a former NCAA Division 1 gymnast, TEDx Speaker, and member of Mental Health America’s Public Policy Committee and Ad-Hoc Committee on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Social Justice. Her experiences as a collegiate gymnast battling depression and rupturing her Achilles inspired her passion for youth mental health and propelled her work to illuminate and advocate for eliminating the disparity between the support and treatment for physical injury versus mental health conditions.

John Mize

Mize is the executive vice president of business development at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, where he serves on the senior leadership team.

He previously ran global markets within the life science, medical diagnostic, and medical services industries for several employers. Mize represented the Autism Society of America during the Combating Autism Reauthorization that was signed into law by President Obama in 2011. Mize is an advocate for equitable mental health services, veteran-related causes, building strong faith communities, and disability-related issues.


About Mental Health America

Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-driven nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health and well-being, resilience, recovery, and closing the mental health equity gap. Mental Health America’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of whole-person health, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; and integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them. Learn more at