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Kurt Entsminger Named Executive Director of Treatment Advocacy Center
Date:11/19/2007

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) selected attorney and consumer Kurt Entsminger to be the organization's next executive director, only the second since the organization was formed nine years ago. Entsminger was unanimously approved at TAC's board meeting on November 10, 2007. He will start January 2, 2008.

"Kurt Entsminger will be a strong leader," said TAC president E. Fuller Torrey. "TAC has firmly established itself as the only organization willing to stand up and fight for treatment for the most seriously ill and neglected patients. Entsminger's expertise in the nonprofit world, combined with his personal experiences with bipolar disorder, gives him an unique understanding of how to position TAC for future success."

"I believe it is time to restore common sense to a society that has literally sacrificed human sanity in the name of personal privacy," said Entsminger, who was most recently president of the national nonprofit Care Net. "I consider it a great honor and privilege to join this effort."

Entsminger was at Care Net for nine years, where he doubled the organization's income and greatly expanded its impact. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, and spent 18 years as a trial lawyer, including serving as a partner in two law firms. He was also an Administrative Law Judge for Huntington Human Relations Commission. He has a bachelor's in economics from West Virginia University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law.

Entsminger said he was drawn to the empathy and compassion of the Treatment Advocacy Center. "It is my history that brought me to TAC. As a person who has lived with bipolar disorder for many years, I understand firsthand the importance of effective treatment. My hospitalization and subsequent and continuing treatment is the reason I'm well today. I come to the Treatment Advocacy Center with great respect and appreciation for its work, and a particularly strong passion for its mission. TAC is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who continue, without treatment, to struggle with severe brain disorders."

"The search committee recommended Entsminger without reservation and feels he is extraordinarily qualified to be a champion for those with severe mental illnesses that other organizations ignore," said search committee co-chair and board vice chair Stephen Segal. "His unique background and passion make him worthy of being Mary Zdanowicz' successor and building on the continued outstanding work of the staff of the Treatment Advocacy Center."

TAC's founding executive director Mary Zdanowicz resigned July 2007. She remains active as a member of the honorary advisory board.

"The nationwide search brought in an impressive group of candidates," said search committee co-chair Jonathan Stanley, TAC's assistant director. "The caliber and reach of the almost 150 applicants is reflective of TAC's status in the broader community."

Since it opened its doors in 1998, TAC has been involved in reforming treatment laws in 18 states, including Kendra's Law in New York. Kendra's Law is hailed as a national model for assisted outpatient treatment, a way to court order someone with severe mental illness who is too ill to recognize they need help into community-based treatment. The American Psychiatric Association awarded TAC its Presidential Commendation for "sustained extraordinary advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable mentally ill patients."

The Treatment Advocacy Center (http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. We take no money from pharmaceutical companies.


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SOURCE Treatment Advocacy Center
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