Newport Mental Health

Jamie Lehane Stepping Down as CEO of Newport Mental Health

January 24, 2024 (Middletown, RI) – James M. “Jamie” Lehane, a passionate advocate for the accessibility of high-quality, evidence-based behavioral health services as well as removing the stigma around mental health treatment, announced today that he is stepping down as President and CEO of Newport Mental Health.  

Lehane’s decade of visionary leadership played a pivotal role in guiding the organization through unprecedented challenges. Whether it was finding creative ways to provide uninterrupted services during the pandemic or negotiating with Rhode Island’s managed-care systems and Medicaid for coverage of behavioral health services for low-income residents, Jamie ensured that Newport Mental Health remained a lifeline for residents of Newport County from all walks of life during the most challenging times.

“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,” says Joyce Kirby, Chair of the Board.

Jamie Lehane (right), retiring President and CEO of Newport Mental Health, congratulates Dayna Gladstein on her appointment to the position. Gladstein will take over officially at the organization’s Annual Meeting on March 4. (Photo courtesy of Newport Mental Health.)

His work at Newport Mental Health caps a 40-year career that includes clinical and administrative work across four states, including serving as 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. During his time at Newport Mental Health, he brought in more than $15 million in new funding. 

Most recently, he led Newport Mental Health to become Rhode Island’s first federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). This recognition further solidified the organization’s leadership role in delivering comprehensive, person-centered, and accessible mental health services. While he is stepping down from full-time work, Lehane will continue to serve as Chief Strategy Officer for Newport Mental Health with the goal of supporting Rhode Island in its effort to be one of the next 10 states awarded the federal CCBHC program that will expand high-quality community behavioral health services to thousands of additional people across Rhode Island.   

Lehane underscores the organization’s dedication to serving the entire community as a highlight of his tenure. “Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and of all ages,” says Lehane. “When you or a loved one is faced with an emotional or substance use crisis, I’m proud that NMH is the welcoming space where you can walk in without an appointment five days a week, or that you can call 24 hours a day to connect to the help you need.” He points to the Healthy Transitions program, which provides early treatment to young adults when they first experience a mental illness, as one of his chief accomplishments. He was also instrumental in establishing the Rhode Island Outreach (RIO) behavioral health response team; the first of its kind in the state. This team is dispatched to crisis calls received through the new 988 crisis line as well as calls made directly to Newport Mental Health.  

Dayna Gladstein, Newport Mental Health’s Executive Vice President for the past three years, will be installed as President and CEO at the organization’s Annual Meeting on March 4. Gladstein has dedicated her career to working in organizations that build health equity and quality-driven networks of care. Over the past 20 plus years, she has worked in leadership roles where she proved herself in clinical and business strategy, operations, and advocacy. She has also been centrally involved in reducing homelessness and barriers to care for Veterans as well as individuals and families with lifelong mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. 

The Board anticipates a seamless transition, says Kirby. “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 is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit and a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic that provides mental health and substance use treatment to those who live, work, and study in Newport County, regardless of their ability to pay. Newport Mental Health offers programs and services for children and adults; immediate access to care is available by calling 401-846-1213. For more information, please visit