About Us

​The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), as part of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), has oversight responsibility for publicly-funded inpatient and outpatient (community) behavioral health services, which includes a comprehensive array of services and supports to help individuals with substance-related disorders, mental health disorders, co-occurring disorders, and problem-gambling disorders recover. Additionally, BHA is the entity responsible for regulating and licensing all behavioral health programs in Maryland’s Public Behavioral Health System and has oversight responsibility to ensure provider compliance with COMAR 10.63 and state policy. 


The BHA will, through publicly-funded services and supports, promote recovery, resiliency, health and wellness for individuals who have or are at risk of emotional, substance related, addictive and/or psychiatric disorders to improve their ability to function effectively in their communities.


Improved health, wellness, and quality of life for individuals across the life span through a seamless and integrated behavioral health system of care.


Increasing access to care by expanding:
  • capacity of 24/7 crisis services
  • the workforce
  • the use of telehealth and other information technology applications

Improving quality of care by:
  • improved data collection and analysis capabilities
  • moving to measurement-based care
  • expanding cultural and linguistic competency trainings
  • increasing support of evidence-based practices and promising practices
  • increasing integration of care

Improving coordination of care by:
  • developing and utilizing an integrated systems management approach
  • expanding recovery services and supports​



Dr. Lisa A. Burgess is serving as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH) Behavioral Health Administration (BHA). She is responsible for Maryland’s Public Behavioral Health System, serving over 300,000 individuals with direct oversight of a BHA administrative and service budget of $400 million, in addition to clinical oversight of a $1.6 billion Medicaid budget. Dr. Burgess also serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Quality Integrated Care Management for Maryland Health Care Financing and Medicaid within MDH. 

Dr. Burgess completed her medical education and a postgraduate research fellowship with the University of Kentucky. She also completed a general psychiatry residency through Virginia Commonwealth University and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship with the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is board-certified in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry, as well as health care quality and management (subspecialties: physician advisor and managed care) by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. Dr. Burgess has served the state of Maryland since 2012, first working in the Medicaid Pharmacy Program until 2016 before moving to her role as the Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Burgess advocates consistently for the collaboration and coordination of MDH with its partners and stakeholders to support the MDH vision: lifelong health and wellness for all Marylanders.​​