The University of Texas System


The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC) was created by the 86th Texas Legislature to leverage the expertise and capacity of the health-related institutions of higher education to address urgent mental health challenges and improve the mental health care system in this state in relation to children and adolescents.

Staff & Leadership

The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC) is staffed by The University of Texas System, through a contract with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

David Lakey is Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for The University of Texas System. He is also Senior Adviser to the President at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. Dr. Lakey served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from January 2007 to February 2015.

Currently he serves on the March of Dimes Board of Trustees and the Trust for America’s Health Board of Directors. He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, graduating with high honors from Rose‐Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, and received his medical degree with honors from Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Lakey was a resident in internal medicine and pediatric medicine and completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Luanne Southern currently works at the University of Texas System as the Executive Director for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, which was created by the 86th Texas legislature in Senate Bill 11 to address gaps in mental health care for children and adolescents in Texas. Luanne most recently provided strategic consulting services to the Texas child welfare system as a Senior Director for Casey Family Programs, a national operating foundation focused on improving – and ultimately preventing the need for – foster care. She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Luanne has many years of national, state and local experience in health and human services, with an emphasis on policies and practices that address the behavioral health needs of children, youth and families. Ms. Southern has an MSW from the University of Texas, and BSW from Goshen College in Indiana.

Lashelle Inman, MBA, is Senior Program Manager for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. Prior to coming to UT System in 2016, she was an Information Technology Program Manager at Caesars Entertainment Corporation in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she was responsible for overseeing the implementation of a multi-million-dollar portfolio of projects that supported the program roadmaps she developed in conjunction with 13 functional areas within the company. She received her MBA from Schiller International University and her BA in Political Science from Texas A&M University. From 2004-2011 she worked in England as a Business Analyst and Program Manager, working with departments within two local government Councils to shift services online as a part of a national e-Government initiative. This included identifying opportunities to leverage technology to better integrate and improve service lines, developing strategic plans, and tracking benefits over time to ensure return on investment.

Nagla Elerian is the Director of Population Health Strategic Initiatives at the Office of Health Affairs at UT System. Prior to joining the UT System, Nagla was the Director of the Center for Health Statistics at the Department of State Health Services. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology and a Master of Science in Health Statistics with a minor in Geography. In 1995, Nagla established the first electronic Birth Defects registry in Texas. In 1998, she established an evaluation program for Medicaid managed care where she initiated many improvements to the Medicaid managed care data and reporting. In 2000, she joined the NorthSTAR program where she initiated many reporting mechanisms to allow the use and sharing of data for program improvements. In 2007, Nagla joined the Decision Support unit at the Mental Health and Substance Abuse, where she developed through a multi-stakeholder collaboration the risk assessment tools to allow the state to evaluate and manage mental health centers and substance abuse providers using financial, access, quality and outcome indicators.

Daniel Oppenheimer provides communication support to the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium in his role as Director of Population Health Communication at UT System. He received his MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and is the author of Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century (Simon & Schuster 2016) and Far From Respectable: Dave Hickey and His Art (University of Texas Press 2021). Before coming over to UT System he was Director of Strategic Communications for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin.


All Texas children and adolescents will have the best mental health outcomes possible.


Advance mental health care quality and access for all Texas children and adolescents through inter-institutional collaboration, leveraging the expertise of the state’s health-related institutions of higher education, local and state government agencies, and local and state mental health organizations.



The TCMHCC is composed of the following entities:

  • The 13 state-funded health related institutions of higher education in Texas
  • The Health and Human Services Commission
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which will receive the funding from the state and send it to the Consortium members.
  • Three nonprofit organizations that focus on mental health care: Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the Texas Council of Community Health Centers
  • A Hospital System representative
  • The University of Texas System, which is the administrative support entity
  • Any other entity that the executive committee considers necessary
TCMHCC Diagram


For more information on the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC), contact Luanne Southern at

For media inquiries, contact Daniel Oppenheimer at or (512) 852-3269.