McLean new chair for Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH, has been named chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. McLean is the medical director for the North Dakota Department of Human Services, a role he will continue. McLean is a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at UND, where he has taught since 1993. Before his appointment as medical director of the ND Department of Human Services, he was medical director of the North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown and the Southeast Human Service Center in Fargo.

McLean will succeed Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor James E. Mitchell, MD, as chair. Mitchell is retiring as chair, but will continue to be a faculty member and contribute to the School’s research and teaching missions through the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo. McLean will become the chair of the department on October 1.

“Dr. McLean brings a wealth of experience in the mental and behavioral health arena to the School,” said Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, UND vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “He has taught on our faculty for almost 25 years, and his simultaneous ongoing appointment as medical director of North Dakota’s Department of Human Services will open up even more opportunities for partnerships that will benefit the people of the state.”

A Hillsboro, N.Dak., native, McLean received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UND. He earned his medical doctorate from the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, where he was co-chief resident. He earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. McLean is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2013, McLean was inducted as a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. He received the American Psychiatric Association Bruno Lima Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Psychiatry in 2011. Also in 2011, he was recognized with the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean's Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Volunteer Faculty, an honor he has received twice. McLean garnered a UND Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005.

McLean is recognized internationally for his work with patients and organizations on the psychosocial effects of disasters on mental health; he has delivered presentations from Norway to South Africa and from Morocco to Fargo. He is a member of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. He has published diverse research on telepharmacy and mental health, as well as resilience communication after disasters. McLean has spent his career working with and advocating for individuals with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

“I’m honored to succeed Dr. Mitchell as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science,” McLean said. “We are all aware of the importance of behavioral health. I’m appreciative of Dr. Wynne and Maggie Anderson, the executive director of the Department of Human Services, for the opportunity to further the education of medical students and residents, as well as partner with others to enhance our behavioral health system to meet the needs of our state.”