Newport Mental Health Announces Leadership Transition as Jamie Lehane Steps Down as President and CEO

James M. “Jamie” Lehane, a dedicated advocate for accessible and stigma-free behavioral health services, announced his decision Wednesday to step down as President and CEO of Newport Mental Health. Lehane’s visionary leadership spanning a decade has been instrumental in steering the organization through unprecedented challenges, ensuring the continuity of crucial services during the pandemic, and advocating for the coverage of behavioral health services for low-income residents in Rhode Island.

Joyce Kirby, Chair of the Board, commended Lehane’s contributions, stating, “Over the past ten years, Jamie’s vision, flexibility, and strategic thinking, along with his heartfelt dedication to Newport Mental Heath’s mission, led the way for the organization’s impressive growth and the improvement in behavioral health services to the communities we serve.”

Lehane’s extensive 40-year career includes clinical and administrative roles across four states. Before his tenure at Newport Mental Health, he served as the CEO of the Southwest Connecticut Behavioral Health System, Director of Adult Mental Health for Washington D.C., and later as the Behavioral Health Director for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Under Lehane’s leadership, Newport Mental Health secured more than $15 million in new funding.

Notably, he led the organization to become Rhode Island’s first federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), reinforcing its position as a leader in providing comprehensive, person-centered, and accessible mental health services. Although stepping down from full-time work, Lehane will continue as Chief Strategy Officer, supporting Rhode Island’s bid to become one of the next 10 states awarded the federal CCBHC program, expanding community behavioral health services.

Lehane emphasized Newport Mental Health’s commitment to serving the entire community, highlighting accomplishments such as the Healthy Transitions program for early treatment of young adults and the establishment of the Rhode Island Outreach (RIO) behavioral health response team, a first in the state.

At the organization’s Annual Meeting on March 4, Dayna Gladstein, Newport Mental Health’s Executive Vice President for the past three years, will assume the role of President and CEO. Gladstein, with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles focusing on health equity and quality-driven care networks, is poised to continue the organization’s mission.

The Board anticipates a seamless transition, with Kirby expressing confidence in the team’s continued success. “Dayna and Jamie have worked side-by-side for the past three years, and we continue to expect great things from this team.”

Newport Mental Health, a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit and a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, provides mental health and substance use treatment in Newport County, irrespective of one’s ability to pay. Immediate access to care is available by calling 401-846-1213. For more information, please visit




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