Nursing faculty selected for Erie County subcommittee on mental health, substance use disorder

Alyssa Hamel.

Published February 16, 2024

UB School of Nursing’s psychiatric/mental health program coordinator, Alyssa Hamel, has been appointed to the Prevention & Addiction Services and Supports Subcommittee (PASSS), a subcommittee of the Erie County Department of Mental Health’s Community Service Board.


Hamel, who is also a clinical assistant professor, will serve a three-year term on the board, through January 2027.

The subcommittee aims to provide education and expertise on substance abuse and its effects on public health and the individual, while also advocating for policies and initiatives aimed at reducing its prevalence and negative impact.

PASSS duties include reviewing Certificate of Need Proposals, making recommendations for the Commissioner of Mental Health, and monthly reporting on county updates and needs. The subcommittee also conducts an annual evaluation of the Local Services Plan. Their job is to ensure that the plan aligns with the needs of individuals dealing with serious mental illness, including children and adolescents facing serious emotional challenges.

“This committee aims to serve our community through boots on the ground initiatives, advocacy and legislative action,” says Hamel. “It is an absolute privilege to be a part of such a devoted group of individuals from various disciplines and expertise.”

Hamel is the DNP/Psychiatric Project Coordinator on an interdisciplinary multi-year $1.92 million Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant, awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant funds an interprofessional training program designed to expand health services in underserved communities. The School of Nursing’s program aims to expand the health care workforce to address disparities in access to clinical care for substance use disorders.

In her role as a psychiatric nurse practitioner at BestSelf Behavioral Health, Hamel is responsible for assessing, diagnosing and providing pharmacological management and education for adults with a variety of mental illnesses. 

Hamel earned her DNP from the University at Buffalo and is currently a PhD student in the School of Nursing.


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School of Nursing
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