Sanders, Kathy, MD

Deputy Commissioner for Clinical and Professional Services
State Medical Director
Department of Mental Health
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Assistant Professor Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School


As Deputy Commissioner for Clinical & Professional Services and State Medical Director, Dr. Sanders oversees the Department’s development and implementation of clinical standards in a statewide system of care for people with severe and persistent mental illness as well as the DMH residency and internship training programs, research contracts and health and wellness initiatives. Dr. Sanders provides clinical supervision to the Department’s Area Medical Directors and provides clinical guidance in the Department’s policy development, licensing, clinical training and quality and utilization management systems as well as involvement with other State Agencies and mental health policy development.

She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Women’s Studies and then matriculated at the Medical College of Pennsylvania for her medical degree. She did a medical internship at the US Public Health Service Hospital in Staten Island and then served as a general practitioner in the US Federal Prison System. After specialization in Psychiatry at Michigan State University, she came to Boston for a Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Since then she has been a member of the MGH Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Medical School Faculty. Her academic focus has been medical psychiatry, the management of aggression and violence, and medical education and physician leadership.

Immediately prior to joining DMH, Dr. Sanders was Director of the Residency Training Program for the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/McLean Hospital Program. During her tenure at MGH, she also served as Director of the Acute Psychiatry Service in the MGH Emergency Department and participated in many leadership committees and projects throughout MGH, McLean, and Partners Healthcare. Currently, she maintains her clinical and teaching appointment with the MGH Department of Psychiatry and Harvard Medical School.