Governor Polis Announces Dr. Morgan Medlock as Behavioral Health Commissioner

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

DENVER - Today, Governor Polis announced the appointment of Dr. Morgan Medlock as the new Behavioral Health Commissioner for the State of Colorado, and a new member of the Governor's Cabinet.

“Colorado is entering a bold new era in delivering more efficient and better behavioral and mental health services and I’m thrilled that Dr. Morgan Medlock will be leading that work as she serves as Colorado’s first Behavioral Health Commissioner,” said Governor Polis. “Dr. Medlock’s experience, expertise, and commitment to addressing challenges with innovative solutions make her the right choice for this cabinet level role and I look forward to working with her to deliver the care that Coloradans deserve.”

Dr. Medlock’s appointment is part of the transformational change being made in Colorado’s Behavioral Health System by the Polis-Primavera Administration, such as our convening of the Behavioral Health Task Force, the creation of the Behavioral Health Administration, and making key investments with the once-in-a-generation funding as part of American Rescue Plan Act funds leveraged with local and other funds, including opioid settlement dollars, to address structural gaps in our behavioral health continuum.

“We are at a pivotal moment in our effort to transform Colorado’s behavioral health system, and our success will depend in large part upon bold and effective leadership from the Behavioral Health Administration,” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera. “I’m confident that Dr. Medlock is the right person to guide the Administration and ensure that we continue to act urgently and purposefully to help all Coloradans get the behavioral health care that they need.” 

Ensuring that Coloradans have easy access to mental and behavioral health care services has been a priority for the Polis-Primavera administration since day one. In 2019, just months after taking office, Governor Polis established the Behavioral Health Task Force, bringing together stakeholders and leaders across the state level to determine how to best streamline Colorado’s behavioral health system in a way that cuts through bureaucracy, increases accountability and efficiency, and puts people first. Recommendations from the Task Force drove the establishment of the Behavioral Health Administration, which will be overseen by Dr. Medlock.

Dr. Medlock previously served as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Crisis and Emergency Services for the Washington, DC Department of Behavioral Health. She also serves on the faculty of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior and Howard University College Of Medicine and has held a previous appointment as a Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Among her many leadership positions, Dr. Medlock served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities, including a term as Vice Chair from 2019-2020. She also participated in the District Of Columbia Hospital Association’s Opioid Taskforce, serving as Co-Chair from 2019-2020.

Dr. Medlock will begin her role on January 18, 2022.

Dr. Medlock Received her MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health, her MD from the Mayo Clinic School Of Medicine, her MDiv from Andrews University, and her BS from Oakwood University.