Karen Hearod (Region 6)
Karen Hearod (Region 6)
SAMHSA Region VI
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75202
CAPT Karen Hearod is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Prior to accepting her new role as Regional Administrator, CAPT Hearod served as the Indian Health Service Oklahoma City Area Acting Behavioral Health Consultant. In this position CAPT Hearod had oversight over behavioral health and substance abuse programs across Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas providing services impacting 410,00 Native Americans. In addition to providing leadership as Chair for the IHS National Zero Suicide Advisory Committee, she served as a member of the National Suicide Crisis Policy Committee working to establish the first IHS national suicide care policy.
During her federal career, CAPT Hearod has served as the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In this role, Hearod oversaw a behavioral health system which spanned the area equivalent to the size of Vermont including 13 facilities and 90 staff. She was successful in seeking out and implementing multiple grants addressing substance abuse and suicide prevention, sexual assault forensic treatment and prevention, HIV and teen pregnancy prevention, and cardiovascular disease prevention. She led the creation of the Choctaw Nation Wind Horse Treatment Center providing family centered substance abuse prevention and treatment services for high risk families in an area with little access to care. She also facilitated the transition to a fully integrated Electronic Health Record for Behavioral Health with Choctaw Nation Health programs greatly improving continuity of care.
CAPT Hearod joins the team of 10 Regional Administrators subsequent to the retirement of Mr. Michael Duffy who served in this position since its inception. SAMHSA’s Regional Offices provide expertise on behavioral health and a link between SAMHSA and other Federal agencies, States, behavioral health service providers, community-based organizations and others in the region.
Assistant Regional Administrator, Region 6
LT Traci Murray, Ph.D., RN
LT Traci M. Murray has been a registered nurse for over nine years with experience in clinical research, epidemiology, and nursing education. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with honors from Texas Christian University. Soon after, she became the first B.S.N-to-Ph.D. graduate at University of Texas at Tyler. LT Murray explored her public health interests as a CDC Public Health Associate assigned to the Florida Department of Health where she gained valuable experience during the state’s Zika crisis. In 2017, LT Murray became a Commissioned Nurse Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She currently serves as the Region VI Assistant Regional Administrator for SAMHSA in Dallas. As a Commissioned Officer, LT Murray has been active in the Black Commissioned Officers Advisory Group and Commissioned Officers Association. She is also a committed volunteer in her church’s Preventive Medicine ministry and a long-time member of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. LT Murray is currently completing a Master’s in Public Health with a global health emphasis at University of North Texas Health Science Center.