No. Suffolk Mental Health Assn. Names Damien Cabezas as CEO
Damien Cabezas
Damien Cabezas

May 12, 2022 — The North Suffolk Mental Health Association, a Chelsea-based nonprofit provider of mental health services serving the Greater Boston area, recently announced that it named Damien Cabezas as its chief executive officer.

Cabezas, who assumes his post next month, succeeds Jackie K. Moore, who is retiring after serving in the position for 17 years.

Deborah Wayne, board president of the North Suffolk Mental Health Association (NSMHA), said, “In her 17 years of service to our organization and the people we serve, Jackie has NSMHA positioned as one of the most innovative and responsive providers of behavioral healthcare in Massachusetts. We believe that Damien is the right person to build on her successes and lead our organization into the future.”

Cabezas currently serves as president of Mercy Care in Atlanta, a federally-qualified health center that offers a continuum of integrated behavioral and medical health care, including dental and vision services. Earlier, he was CEO of Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg, VA, for more than seven years, overseeing a budget of $52 million with more than 700 employees and 35 locations.

NSMHA said Cabezas has experience working in and leading a wide variety of programming that mirrors many of its services, including day programs, outpatient and residential programs, and substance use, addiction and recovery services.

"The first time I visited Chelsea, met the board and staff and visited the neighborhoods and programs, it felt like home," Cabezas said. “As a son of immigrants, my parents received support from the non-profit community, family, and friends to get back on their feet. That personal experience led me at a young age to know that public service was my calling.

“I am humbled and thrilled to lead this amazing organization and mission and I look forward to partnering with the North Suffolk Board, leadership, team, and community. The opportunities are many and the future is bright."

Cabezas earned aster of Social Work degree from Fordham and a Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College.

Founded in 1959, NSMHA has an operating budget of $65 million and employs more than 900 people via 75 programs throughout Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, Charlestown, and Boston. It serves adults, children and families of all ages who are experiencing mental health challenges and substance use disorders; those with developmental disabilities; or those who need early intervention services from birth to age 3.

The agency provides services in nine languages, including ASL, through four outpatient clinics, 39 residences, including two providing residential addiction treatment, and three recovery support centers. It operates a training center and a 24/7/365 recovery support hotline.