Joseph Penn, MD, CCHP-MH, Is New Chair of NCCHC Board

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Posted Nov 17, 2020

Joseph PennJoseph Penn, MD, CCHP-MH, has been elected chair of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care Governance Board. He previously served as board chair in 2008-2009.

Dr. Penn is director of Mental Health Services for the University of Texas Medical Branch Correctional Managed Care program, which provides health care services in more than 100 adult and juvenile correctional facilities throughout the state of Texas. He is also a clinical professor in the UTMB Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Penn first became acquainted with NCCHC during the first week of his first job with the Rhode Island Juvenile Justice system, where he had to assess whether certain youth could be taken off suicide watch. He says he discovered the standards and, within them, everything he needed to know. That was the start of his involvement in NCCHC. 

He has served on the NCCHC board since 2003, first representing the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and more recently the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has also been on numerous committees and subcommittees and is a physician surveyor.

“One of NCCHC’s strengths is its ability to remain fluid and dynamic,” says Dr. Penn. “Now, with the novel coronavirus hitting so hard, it’s more important than ever that we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our incarcerated patients, correctional health professionals, and correctional systems. I look forward to helping lead the organization during what I suspect will be a particularly challenging yet transformative year.”

Dr. Penn is triple board-certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

View Dr. Penn's National Conference speech about Emotional Wellness Strategies for Coping with COVID-19 >>

Other board positions include:

Samuel Soltis, PhD, MHA, CCHP, retired deputy director of Health Services for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, was elected chair-elect. He is the American College of Health Care Executives liaison to the board. 

Pauline Marcussen, DHA, RHIA, CCHP, acting associate director of Health Care Services for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, was elected secretary. She serves as the liaison to the NCCHC board from the American Health Information Management Association.

Nancy White, MA, LPC, continues her tenure as treasurer. She is the American Counseling Association liaison to the board, and a team leader with Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health, Kansas City, Missouri.

Learn about the newly elected Board of Representatives members >>