Huntington, Ind.— Mr. Charles G. Curie, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Huntington College Foundation Annual Dinner on Thursday, September 11, 2003. Curie, a 1977 Huntington College graduate, was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 2001 to his current position.
As SAMHSA Administrator, Curie leads the $3.2 billion agency responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the Nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health services. He has created an Agency matrix of priorities and principles to guide program development and resource allocation to articulate SAMHSA’s vision, “a life in the community for everyone,” and its redefined mission of “building resilience and facilitating recovery.” SAMHSA’s new direction, which Curie implemented, is based on the premise that people of all ages, with or at risk for mental or substance abuse disorders, should have the opportunity for a fulfilling life that includes a job, a home and meaningful personal relationships with friends and family.
Curie has over 25 years of professional experience in the mental health and substance abuse services field. His core commitment, ensuring that people with addictive and mental disorders have the opportunity for full participation in American society, has earned him national recognition and acclaim.
Prior to his confirmation as SAMHSA Administrator, Curie was appointed by then Governor Tom Ridge as Deputy Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for the Department of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania. During his tenure, Curie implemented a nationally recognized mental health and drug and alcohol Medicaid managed care program and streamlined fractured service delivery systems. He also established and implemented a policy to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint practices in the state hospital system. This program won the 2000 Innovations in American Government Award sponsored by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Ford Foundation and the Council on Excellence in Government.
Before his service in the Ridge Administration, Curie was the Director of Risk Management Services for Henry S. Lehr Inc. in Bethlehem, Pa.; President/CEO of the Helen H. Stevens Community Mental Health Center in Carlisle, Pa.; and Executive Director/CEO of the Sandusky Valley Center in Tiffin, Ohio. (See www.samhsa.gov for more on SAMHSA and Curie.)
Curie, Huntington College’s 1996 Alumnus of the Year, earned his master’s in social-service administration from the University of Chicago in 1979 and is certified by the Academy of Certified Social Workers. In an interview with the Huntington College Magazine in 1996, Curie said that HC has had a positive effect on every part of his life. He credits HC with making the difference in his life by providing a strong academic, spiritual and emotional foundation.
“I was a student at Huntington College when I came to understand how a person’s career can be integrated with the absolute truth of the Scripture,” he stated. “My decision to try to make a difference in the lives of those with the greatest need developed at Huntington. As I took my faith more seriously, I began to understand that, if it were possible for me to do something to help people, I would do so as an ambassador of Christ.”
The Huntington College Foundation Annual Dinner will be held in the Habecker Dining Commons at Huntington College. The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. reception with dinner following at 6:30 p.m. The cost of the dinner program is $20 per person. Tables of eight may be reserved for $150. To make reservations, contact Ella Burnett at (260) 359-4069. Reservations will be taken until September 9. Payment should be sent to Huntington College Foundation, 2303 College Avenue, Huntington, IN 46750.
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