NHMH NO HEALTH WITHOUT MENTAL HEALTH A 501(c)(3) non profit   San Francisco - Washington DC Director’s blog

Wayne Katon 1950 - 2015

Published Thursday 12 of March, 2015

Wayne Katon, M.D. was a great friend to NHMH – No Health without Mental Health. We shared a strong, focused commitment to advancing innovative, evidence-based mental health services in primary care.

For a man of his attainment – outstanding innovator in his field of psychiatry and medical education, pioneer developer of collaborative care model, a professor and mentor to generations of young doctors at the University of Washington, principal investigator in numerous national clinical trials, and prolific medical author – to have also found time to work with our nonprofit mental health advocacy organization over a period of years, is truly extraordinary in itself. And even more astounding was the level of constancy, responsiveness, and the open-hearted generosity and warmth of his assistance.

For NHMH, it was always an honor being able to collaborate with someone of Wayne’s stature in the field of behavioral integration. Besides his preeminence in developing new care models, he also seemed to instinctively understand how the significance of advocacy work for behavioral health integration. His support for our nonprofit was unstinting, whether guiding and educating us on the fine points of integrated care, providing numerous data and reports requested, putting us in touch with so many of his equally generous medical colleagues working in various aspects of integrated clinical, research or development work. He never hesitated answering our invitations to speak, including to other behavioral advocacy groups. Especially memorable was his August 2013 talk from Seattle to the 64-member Washington, D.C.-based Mental Health Liaison Group coalition in DC, on collaborative care, which was the coalition’s most well-attended meeting of the year, with attendance in the room SRO.

Even in the final months of his life, Wayne unstintingly shared his knowledge and insights with us in briefings for DC-based health policy people. His efforts were both effective and inspiring. He appreciated the importance of education on and advocacy amidst health policy makers who are shaping new health policy.

There are many of us from various disciplines and backgrounds working together to make integrated care a reality. In this collective effort, Wayne Katon stands out as a giant and inspiration to all of us. Nearly everyone who came into contact with him is remarking today what a rare privilege and gift it was to have known and worked with him.

NHMH is no exception.

Wayne’s work and example will guide us forward in making integrated care available in all areas of care delivery for those who need it. Because of him, many people across the country will seek mental health care when they need it, and find quality care when they do.

Florence C. Fee, J.D., M.A.

Executive Director