December 11, 2021

The Missouri Mental Health Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Valerie Huhn as the new Director for the Department of Mental Health (DMH).

Huhn was selected through a nationwide search process. She will begin her new role and responsibilities with DMH on January 1, 2022.

“The Commission has the utmost confidence in the abilities and talents of Valerie Huhn,” said Commission Chair, Teresa Coyan. “We look forward to the Department’s continued growth and success with current initiatives and we know Valerie will strengthen existing relationships and build new ones as well as carry on the innovative thinking of her predecessors.”

Huhn has been a part of the DMH Senior Management Team since 2014 when she took on the role of Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. She has a vast background in state government, which began in 2000 as a Budget and Planning Analyst for the Office of Budget and Planning. Huhn brings leadership experience from the Missouri Departments of Health and Senior Services, the Office of Administration, and the Social Services-MO HealthNet Division which is the state’s Medicaid agency. She was promoted to DMH Deputy Director in 2020. Huhn will continue to push for strengthening services for consumers and work collaboratively with stakeholders, the Governor’s Office, the Legislature as well as other state agency leaders.

The national search for the new Director included a 15 member advisory stakeholder panel comprised of individuals representing statewide organizations from the fields of behavioral health and developmental disabilities. The panel reviewed applications and made recommendations to the Mental Health Commission. The Commission conducted top candidate interviews and made the final decision.

DMH serves approximately 170,000 Missourians annually through state-operated facilities and contracts with private providers.