Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Appoints Jonathan Goldfinger, MD, CEO and Promotes Senior Vice President Lyn Morris, LMFT, to COO
June 29, 2020
CULVER CITY, CA, June 29, 2020—Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services—a national leader in suicide prevention and one of Los Angeles County’s largest nonprofits treating families, youth, and adults with mental illness and substance use disorders—is proud to announce the selection of Jonathan Goldfinger, MD, MPH, FAAP, as the next CEO of the 78 year-old organization.
Dr. Goldfinger’s selection followed a year-long planning process by the Board of Directors, which included a nationwide search by Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm that specializes in placing leaders at mission-driven nonprofits worldwide. In selecting Dr. Goldfinger, Didi Hirsch’s Board Chair Christopher J. Harrer, a Financial Advisor for UBS Financial Services, said, “We considered a deep bench of highly qualified and diverse candidates and found Dr. Goldfinger to be uniquely qualified to lead Didi Hirsch successfully into the future because of his background in healthcare policy, clinical innovation, strategic partnerships and technology.”
A nationally recognized pediatrician and advocate for the health and wellbeing of children and families, Dr. Goldfinger comes to Didi Hirsch from Goldfinger Health where he advised diverse organizations on behavioral health innovation, business strategy, and policy. Prior to that he served as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Innovation at Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) in San Francisco, which spearheaded the national effort to address Adverse Childhood Experiences such as abuse, parental mental illness, and discrimination.
Like Didi Hirsch, advancing equitable access to care and outcomes has been a cornerstone of Dr. Goldfinger’s career. He currently advises the California Office of the Surgeon General on trauma-informed primary care; the LA County Department of Public Health and First 5 Los Angeles on improving children’s development and behavior services; and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on maternal-infant healthcare quality improvement. A long-time advocate for underserved communities in Los Angeles, Dr. Goldfinger completed his BA at Columbia University, MD and MPH degrees at Mount Sinai Medical School, and residency and fellowships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“I am grateful to the Board of Didi Hirsch for this exciting opportunity,” said Dr. Goldfinger. “Didi Hirsch is a trusted leader in mental health and suicide prevention because their care is fundamentally committed to quality, innovation, and inclusion, all things society needs more than ever. Their work erasing stigma and counseling those in crisis has saved countless lives. I look forward to partnering with the Board, Ms. Morris, the executive leadership team, and staff to build on this legacy of excellence so our state and nation can heal intergenerational trauma and the resulting mental health pandemic of our day.”
Lyn Morris, LMFT, the current Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer in recognition of the broader role she will play supporting Dr. Goldfinger. Ms. Morris has more than 20 years of experience at Didi Hirsch overseeing program development; managing major grants and contracts; and leading its mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services. A leading suicide prevention advocate, she is a frequent conference presenter and spokesperson with local and national media. “I look forward to my new role as COO and partnering with Dr. Goldfinger to bring growth and innovation to our programs and services,” Ms. Morris said.
Dr. Goldfinger will succeed retiring CEO Kita S. Curry, PhD, who joined Didi Hirsch 26 years ago. Dedicated to providing quality services in communities where stigma or poverty limits access, the agency has tripled under her leadership with a budget of $56 million. The agency provides mental health and substance use services, as well as training and education, to 17,000 youth and adults at 10 locations in greater Los Angeles; it also provides suicide prevention services to 140,000 individuals nationwide. Dr. Curry—who will stay on as outgoing CEO through August to support Dr. Goldfinger, who joins July 6, 2020—expressed confidence in the Board’s selection. “Dr. Goldfinger’s commitment to ameliorating the negative impact of childhood trauma and using technology to reach even more clients is just what Didi Hirsch needs as we enter yet another recession when even more youth and adults will need our help.”
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services transforms lives by providing mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services in communities where poverty or stigma limits access to care. Didi Hirsch’s first-in-the-nation comprehensive Suicide Prevention Center operates two 24/7 English/Spanish hotlines: the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for anyone who is or knows someone in a crisis, and the national Disaster Distress Helpline for anyone in distress as a result of natural or manmade disasters. The Center also provides crisis services and therapy for people affected by suicide, as well as prevention training for students, teachers, police and first responders. Over 157,000 children and adults were served in 2019 at 10 locations and 120 schools in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.